WASHINGTON - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Los Angeles-based Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law has expressed support for Federal Judge Susan Bolton’s issuance of a Preliminary Injunction in the case of United States v. State of Arizona blocking much of Arizona’s SB 1070 from going into effect today.
On July 9, 2010, LULAC and the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law filed one of several lawsuits in the federal court in Phoenix alleging that Arizona’s S.B. 1070 and the training materials developed and distributed to Arizona law enforcement agencies to implement it “exacerbate the conflicts between the United States Constitution and federal laws on the one hand, and Arizona law on the other hand.”
LULAC’s complaint alleged that Arizona’s training materials violate federal law “by failing to recognize that numerous categories of immigrants who did not enter the United States lawfully nevertheless are eligible for legalization of status,” and argues that Arizona’s S.B. 1070 is “void and should be struck down under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution.”
Judge Bolton’s preliminary injunction enjoins several major sections of S.B. 1070 including:
That part of Section 2 requiring that all Arizona law enforcement officers make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person is unlawfully present in the United States, and requiring verification of the immigration status of any person arrested prior to releasing that person;
Section 3, making it a crime for the failure to apply for or carry alien registration papers;
That portion of Section 5 making it a crime for an unauthorized alien to solicit, apply for, or perform work;
Section 6, which authorizes the warrantless arrest of persons for whom there is probable cause to believe the individual has committed a public offense that makes the person removable from the United States.
“We are deeply grateful that the federal court has intervened in time to block Arizona’s unconstitutional law from going into effect,” said LULAC National President Margaret Moran. “We plan to vigorously continue our legal challenge to S.B. 1070, and Arizona’s discriminatory training materials, in the federal courts, the Arizona legislature, and the United States Congress.”
“Arizona may be frustrated, as are we, with Congress’ failure to seriously address comprehensive immigration reform. Nevertheless, the solution is not a patchwork of varying state laws to force immigrants to relocate elsewhere. The Constitution holds as it has for the last 200 years. The judge ruled on what the Constitution says and she did not base it on race,” said LULAC National Legal Advisor Luis Vera, who is lead counsel on LULAC’s lawsuit.
Peter Schey, President of the Los Angeles-based Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law and lead counsel in LULAC v. State of Arizona said, “The training materials issued by Arizona are so vague and ill-defined that they will certainty lead to widespread racial profiling and discrimination. We agree with the federal court that the Arizona law conflicts with federal immigration law in numerous ways so that immigrants who are known to the federal authorities with petitions to legalize their status will nevertheless be subject to detention, arrest and prosecution in Arizona because they do not possess the kinds of specific documentary proof Arizona insists upon to establish lawful presence. We will continue to press our legal challenge and hope that the federal courts will eventually bury S.B. 1070 in the waste heap of unconstitutional laws enacted by states to unilaterally control migration.”
The League of United Latin American Citizens is the oldest and largest Hispanic membership organization in the country. LULAC advances the economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, health, housing and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.