November 24, 2020         
35% of seniors willing to risk COVID-19 to work, finds November SimplyWise Retirement Confidence Index   •   Established® Announces SoLo Funds Wins Startup of the Year at the 8th Annual Startup of the Year Summit   •   Clean. Contemporary. Coveted. MANSCAPED™ Debuts Newly Upgraded Refined Cologne   •   Perfect Corp.’s YouCam Makeup Recognized in TIME’s 100 Best Inventions of 2020   •   MadaLuxe Group Launches Licensing Division   •   Cordoba Corporation Welcomes Jacqueline L. Reynoso as Director of Programs and Policy   •   Letsfit Expands Fitness Empire into Sports Apparel, Accessories – All Under $30   •   Intellectual Property Assets of Kidville, Children's Enrichment Brand, Are For Sale   •   New COVID-19 Vaccine Unit Opens at Montefiore and Albert Einstein College of Medicine   •   Service Corporation International To Raise Funds For Survivors Of Military Loss   •   Viatris Inc. Announces FDA Tentative Approval of a Pediatric Formulation of Dolutegravir (DTG) Under PEPFAR   •   World AIDS Day 2020: DKT International Supports New Innovations, Education and Virtual Activities For HIV/AIDS Awareness & P   •   EHE Health Launches Personalized Mobile Health Offering – Thrive Now – to Support Maternal and Family Health   •   Strategy Analytics: Largest Smartphones will Drive Holiday Shopping   •   Maxim Integrated Appoints Yu-A Sophie Han as Country Manager and Managing Director of Maxim Korea   •   ADDING MULTIMEDIA Coconut Cloud Adds 6 New Products to Their Growing Line of Dairy-Free Coffees, Creamers, Cocoas, and Lattes   •   Boulevard Raises $27M to Empower Salons and Spas to Thrive Despite Lockdowns   •   Minister Ng announces opening of applications for the Black Entrepreneurship Program's National Ecosystem Fund and Knowledge Hub   •   Clark Atlanta University Presents The Heart of the Holidays   •   Pandemic Prompts Nonprofits to Launch FREE 24-Hour Support Line for People with Developmental Disabilities
Bookmark and Share

Civil Rights Groups File Legal Challenge To AZ Immigration Law

 

PHOENIX – As previously reported by Black Radio Network Staff, the American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of civil rights groups filed a class action lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona challenging Arizona's new law requiring police to demand "papers" from people they stop who they suspect are not authorized to be in the U.S. The extreme law, the coalition charged, invites the racial profiling of people of color, violates the First Amendment and interferes with federal law.

The coalition filing the lawsuit includes the ACLU, MALDEF, National Immigration Law Center (NILC), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), ACLU of Arizona, National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) – a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice.

"Arizona's law is quintessentially un-American: we are not a 'show me your papers' country, nor one that believes in subjecting people to harassment, investigation and arrest simply because others may perceive them as foreign," said Omar Jadwat, a staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project. "This law violates the Constitution and interferes with federal law, and we are confident that we will prevent it from ever taking effect."

The lawsuit charges that the Arizona law unlawfully interferes with federal power and authority over immigration matters in violation of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution; invites racial profiling against people of color by law enforcement in violation of the equal protection guarantee and prohibition on unreasonable seizures under the 14th and Fourth Amendments; and infringes on the free speech rights of day laborers and others in Arizona.

"This discriminatory law pushes Arizona into a spiral of fear, increased crime and costly litigation," said Victor Viramontes, MALDEF Senior National Counsel. "We expect that this misguided law will be enjoined before it takes effect."

One of the individuals the coalition is representing in the case, Jim Shee, is a U.S.-born 70-year-old American citizen of Spanish and Chinese descent. Shee asserts that he will be vulnerable to racial profiling under the law, and that, although the law has not yet gone into effect, he has already been stopped twice by local law enforcement officers in Arizona and asked to produce his "papers."

Another plaintiff, Jesus Cuauhtémoc Villa, is a resident of the state of New Mexico who is currently attending Arizona State University. The state of New Mexico does not require proof of U.S. citizenship or immigration status to obtain a driver's license. Villa does not have a U.S. passport and does not want to risk losing his birth certificate by carrying it with him. He worries about traveling in Arizona without a valid form of identification that would prove his citizenship to police if he is pulled over. If he cannot supply proof upon demand, Arizona law enforcement is required to arrest and detain him.

Several prominent law enforcement groups, including the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, oppose the law because it diverts limited resources from law enforcement's primary responsibility of providing protection and promoting public safety in the community and undermines trust and cooperation between local police and immigrant communities.

"This ill-conceived law sends a clear message to communities of color that the authorities are not to be trusted, making them less likely to come forward as victims of or witnesses to crime," said Linton Joaquin, General Counsel of NILC. "Arizona's authorities should not allow public safety to take a back seat to racial profiling."

"African-Americans know all too well the insidious effects of racial profiling," said Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and Chief Executive Officer of the NAACP. "The government should be preventing police from investigating and detaining people based on color and accent, not mandating it. Laws that encourage discrimination have no place in this country anywhere for anyone."

"This extreme law puts Arizona completely out of step with American values of fairness and equality," said Julie Su, Litigation Director of the APALC. "In a state where U.S. citizens of Japanese descent were interned during World War II, it is deeply troubling that a law that would mandate lower-class treatment of people of color, immigrants and others seen to be outsiders would pass in 2010."

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of labor, domestic violence, day laborer, human services and social justice organizations, including Friendly House, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), SEIU Local 5, United Food and Commercial Workers International (UFCW), Arizona South Asians for Safe Families (ASAFSF), Southside Presbyterian Church, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Asian Chamber of Commerce of Arizona, Border Action Network, Tonatierra Community Development Institute, Muslim American Society, Japanese American Citizens League, Valle del Sol, Inc., Coalicíon De Derechos Humanos, and individual named plaintiffs who will be subject to harassment or arrest under the law and a class of similarly situated persons.

"Day laborers have repeatedly defended their First Amendment rights in federal courts and successfully established their undeniable right to seek work in public areas," said Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of NDLON. "Arizona's effort to criminalize day laborers and migrants is an affront to the Constitution and threatens to disrupt national unity, and we are confident that federal courts will intervene to ensure the protection of our bedrock civil rights."

Even prior to the passage of the statute, local enforcement of federal immigration law has already caused rampant racial profiling of Latinos in Arizona, most notably in Maricopa County. The ACLU, MALDEF and other members of the coalition have several pending lawsuits against government officials in Arizona because of civil rights abuses of U.S. citizens and immigrants.

Organizations and attorneys on the case, Friendly House et al. v. Whiting et al., include:

ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project: Jadwat, Lucas Guttentag, Cecillia Wang, Tanaz Moghadam and Harini P. Raghupathi;
MALDEF: Viramontes, Tom Saenz, Cynthia Valenzuela Dixon, Nina Perales, Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal, Gladys Limón and Nicholás Espiritu;
NILC: Joaquin, Karen C. Tumlin, Nora A. Preciado, Melissa S. Keaney, Vivek Mittal and Ghazal Tajmiri;
ACLU Foundation of Arizona: Dan Pochoda and Annie Lai;
APALC: Su, Ronald Lee, Yungsuhn Park, Connie Choi and Carmina Ocampo;
NDLON: Chris Newman and Lisa Kung;
NAACP: Laura Blackburne;
Munger Tolles & Olson LLP: Bradley S. Phillips, Paul J. Watford, Elizabeth J. Neubauer,Joseph J. Ybarra, Susan T. Boyd and Yuval Miller; and
Roush, Mccracken, Guerrero, Miller & Ortega: Daniel R. Ortega, Jr.

The complaint can be found at: www.aclu.org/immigrants-rights-racial-justice/friendly-house-et-al-v-whiting-complaint

More information about the Arizona law, including an ACLU video and slide show, can be found at: www.aclu.org/what-happens-arizona-stops-arizona


 

 

 



Back to top
| Back to home page
Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News