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Posts Tagged ‘SB 1070’

Federal Judge Allows Access to Emails Concerning the Drafting of SB 1070 In Order to Search for Racial Overtones

January 6th, 2014 No comments
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TUCSON — A federal judge has given opponents of Arizona’s sweeping anti-illegal-immigration law access to emails, letters and memos between supporters of SB 1070 and legislators to see whether there are racial overtones in the messages.

In December, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton in Phoenix rejected arguments made by two of the law’s supporters, who maintained that communications sent to lawmakers who created and supported SB 1070 were confidential.

Challengers to SB 1070 called Bolton’s ruling a victory because their lawsuit was based partly on allegations that legislators meant to discriminate against Latinos and other people of color. If so, the challengers argue, the law could violate the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key provisions of SB 1070 but allowed the most controversial portion to take effect: Arizona can compel law enforcement officials in most circumstances to check the status of someone they stop for lawful reasons if they suspect the person is in the country illegally.

Immigrant rights activists filed suit and have been battling in court since to have the provision blocked, claiming that the Arizona Legislature intended to discriminate against Latinos and other minorities.

More GOP States Introduce Costly Anti-Immigrant Laws in 2012

February 3rd, 2012 No comments
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Despite the devastating consequences of state immigration laws in Alabama and Arizona, legislators in other states have introduced similar enforcement bills this year. Legislators in Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia introduced an array of costly immigration enforcement bills in their 2012 legislative sessions—some which are modeled on Arizona’s SB 1070. While study after study continues to document how these extreme state laws are costing state economies, disrupting entire industries and driving communities further underground, state legislators clearly aren’t getting the message.

Last month, legislators in Mississippi introduced a slew of anti-immigrant bills. State Senator Joey Fillingane, for example, introduced SB 2090, a bill which requires police to check the immigration status of anyone they reasonably suspect is undocumented, makes it a crime to fail to carry proper immigration documents and a crime to harbor or transport an undocumented immigrant, and a misdemeanor for an undocumented immigrant to apply for or solicit work. Both the Mississippi House and Senate passed different versions of this bill, but are expected to hammer out one bill to send to Governor Haley Barbour’s desk for a signature soon.

In Missouri, state Senator Will Kraus recently introduced SB 590, a bill which requires police to determine the immigration status of individuals they reasonably suspect are unauthorized and makes it a crime not to carry immigration documents. Missouri’s bill, like Alabama, however takes the law a step further by requiring schools to verify the immigration status of enrolling students and their parents. Remember that the U.S. Department of Justice blocked a similar provision in Alabama’s immigration law, HB 56, last October. Missouri’s legislature passed the bill out of committee last week—a bill likely to cost Missouri millions.

U.S. Supreme Court will Decide Constitutionality of Arizona SB 1070 Law

December 16th, 2011 No comments
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The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide whether an aggressive Arizona statute targeting illegal immigrants interferes with federal law, entering another high-profile dispute between the Obama administration and conservative state governments.

Among other provisions intended to drive illegal immigrants from the state, the 2010 Arizona measure, known as SB 1070, requires police to arrest people they stop whom they suspect of being foreigners without authorization to reside in the U.S. Federal courts have blocked much of the Arizona measure from taking effect, agreeing with the Justice Department that it undermines federal authority over immigration.

The U.S. Supreme Court is likely to hear the case by April and issue a decision before July. That is the same time it is expected to rule on the president’s 2010 health-care overhaul, which conservative activists and Republican leaders from 26 states contend exceeds federal authority.

The scheduling positions both cases for a significant role in next year’s presidential and congressional elections—and could make the Supreme Court, certain to be criticized by the losers in each case, itself an issue. Four of the nine justices are in their 70s, suggesting the next president could have at least one vacancy to fill on the closely divided court.

Arizona has become the center stage of the immigration debate over the last few years. Many other states have followed Arizona’s aggressive approach towards illegal immigration.

ACLU and NILC File Lawsuit Challenging Indiana’s State Anti-Immigrant Law

May 30th, 2011 No comments
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The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, the ACLU, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and the law firm of Lewis & Kappes, P.C. filed a class action lawsuit recently challenging an Indiana law inspired by Arizona’s infamous SB 1070. According to the legal director of the ACLU of Indiana, “Indiana has created a law that not only tramples on the constitutional rights of Hoosiers, but also improperly involves Indiana in areas that are clearly of federal, not state, concerns.”

Some state lawmakers oppose the extreme law, saying it will increase law enforcement costs and deter both employers and employees from coming to the state. Additionally, Indiana University also is concerned that the law will discourage enrollment and academic participation, since the institution hosts thousands of foreign national students, faculty members and visitors every school year.

Since immigration bills inspired by Arizona’s SB 1070 have been introduced across the country, Indiana is now the third state to pass the controversial legislation this year, becoming one of four states to enact rigorous state-based immigration laws, along with Arizona, Utah and Georgia.

Unfortunately, this provision, like the rest of the law, is misguided and without a doubt, have unintended social and economic consequences.

State Legislatures Continue to Aggressively Pursue State Laws Regarding Immigration

May 25th, 2011 No comments
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State legislatures continue to involve themselves with immigration issues at an unprecedented rate. In the first quarter of 2011, state legislators in the fifty states and Puerto Rico introduced 1,538 bills and resolutions relating to immigrants and refugees. This number surpasses the first quarter of 2010, when 1,180 bills were introduced.

As in past years, employment, identification/driver’s licenses and law enforcement remain top areas of interest for immigrant-related bill introductions. With passage of federal health care reform, however, health also emerged as a top contender. This quarter, the number of health-related bills was more than double those introduced during the same quarter last year. Following last year’s example of Arizona’s SB 1070, omnibus bill introductions also increased in 2011.

As of March 31, 2011, 26 states enacted 63 laws and adopted 78 resolutions, totaling 141 measures. As of March 31, one additional bill was vetoed in New Jersey. Among enacted laws, the top areas of interest were health, identification/driver’s licenses, law enforcement and resolutions. During the first quarter of 2010, 34 states had enacted 71 laws and adopted 87 resolutions, for a total of 156. An additional 37 bills were awaiting governors’ signatures.

Immigrant Rights Groups File Emergency Injunction to Obtain Police-ICE Collaboration Documents

November 5th, 2010 No comments
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Last month, the National Day Laborer Organization Network (NDLON), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic of Cardozo Law filed an injunction in federal court to require the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency to turn over critical documents on the ability for communities to opt-out of the Secure Communities (S-Comm) program that enlists local police to become what ICE describes as a force multiplier for immigration enforcement.

According to NDLON Execute Director, they are asking the courts to take action to prevent the agency’s misinformation from continuing to trample the democratic process.

Until now, San Francisco and Santa Clara in California, and Arlington in Virginia, have formally requested to opt-out of S-Comm. The emergency injunction is being filed before those municipalities who have voted to opt-out are scheduled to meet with ICE in November. The lack of information and mixed messages from the agency, however, is causing confusion, leaving local law enforcement frustrated about an issue that groups say is undermining community safety. The injunction specifically seeks to prevent ICE from withholding documents on the opt-out policy to allow local communities to have the information necessary to make determination regarding the S-Comm program. The documents requested should have already been turned over Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) law suit filed last April, which ICE has only partially complied with.

Furthermore, attorneys and advocates claim that in spite of the widespread confusion about the opt-out process, ICE is moving full speed ahead, and if the information about it is released years down the road, it will not do any good for local communities who need to understand the program and make decisions about it now.
Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Janet Napolitano has backed off of earlier claims that local communities are able to opt out of the program. Following the FOIA law suit, ICE issued a seven-page document defending the highly criticized program but describing for the first time an opt-out process for local jurisdictions to be removed from the S-Comm deployment plan. Shortly thereafter, Napolitano confirmed the opt-out option. After the Washington Post broke a story in which a high-level ICE source claimed no such option existed, however according to  Napolitano , her department doesn’t consider Secure Communities an opt in/opt out program.

Moreover, advocates who have reviewed the initial S-Comm documents from the FOIA case, reveal a pattern of dishonesty. Information about the nascent program has been scarce, and the development of operational details has been shrouded in secrecy. S-Comm, which currently operates in approximately 600 jurisdictions across the country, functions like the controversial 287(g) program and Arizona’s SB1070, making state and local police central to the enforcement of federal immigration law. The program automatically runs fingerprints through immigration databases for all people arrested and targets them for detention and deportation even if their criminal charges are minor, eventually dismissed, or the result of an unlawful arrest.

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