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ACLU, SEIU, MALDEF, NAACP, UFCW, NILC sue to block Arizona immigration law (two Mexico links)

A group of far-left illegal immigration supporters - including the American Civil Liberties Union, a group that's directly collaborating with the Mexican government - filed a suit today to block the Arizona immigration law from going into effect. The major plaintiffs are listed at [1] and include at list one other group that is or was collaborating with that government. The PDF with the suit is here. The plaintiffs are to varying degrees basically just crooks: they want to profit from illegal activity either financially or as a way of obtaining power.

The suit claims that the new law violates the "Supremacy Clause and core civil rights and civil liberties secured by the United States Constitution". Recall that the 287g program allows local police to perform immigration enforcement, and recall also that Eric Holder stated that he thinks 287g is constitutional (listen to the full clip). And, while the ACLU has worked against 287g, as far as I know they haven't challenged it in court. Perhaps the ACLU could explain how the Arizona law differs from 287g and similar agreements (such as Secure Communities).

The intellectually dishonest complaints from the SEIU include the following:

Many of SEIU’s members are recent immigrants to the United States and many of its members come from racial minority groups. SEIU has long called for and worked toward comprehensive reform of U.S. immigration laws... SB 1070’s impact on already distressed county and municipal budgets will harm SEIU’s members to the extent that it will result in further pay cuts, furloughs, and layoffs... ...some
of SEIU’s Latino members or their families have already been subjected to stops by local law enforcement where they have been asked to produce proof of immigration status. SEIU is concerned that its minority members will be even more likely to be stopped, detained, arrested, and questioned by state and local police after SB 1070 goes into effect.

1. "Recent immigrants" don't need comprehensive immigration reform; the SEIU is dishonestly pretending that illegal aliens are "recent immigrants" rather than acknowledging that a good portion of their membership is here illegally (and they're profiting from their dues, which are paid out of money that was earned illegally).

2. Before, the line from illegal immigration supporters was that the new law would lead to administrative bloat, now it's the opposite.

3. There's nothing in the law as written that would increase the likelihood of their members being "stopped, detained, arrested, and questioned"; their members would have to do something else first. What the SEIU is worried about is that after they're stopped for something else they'd be discovered to be here illegally, get deported, and if enough of that happened it would affect their bottom line and reduce their power.

UPDATE: It'll probably be days or weeks before legal scholars weigh in on the suit, but here's a little more. First, some hand-waving:

73. SB 1070 has caused racial tensions because it is widely understood that it is motivated by and will result in discrimination against Latinos and other racial minorities in Arizona on the basis of their race and national origin.

It's only "widely understood" among the subset of those who oppose immigration enforcement.

74. SB 1070’s numerous provisions create a comprehensive state-law system of immigration regulation and enforcement that will: (1) require police to investigate and determine who may remain in the United States; (2) erect a state immigration registration and punishment scheme by creating state crimes and criminal penalties relating to alien registration, immigration status, and work authorization; and (3) require police to arrest and detain individuals and transfer them to federal authorities based merely on a belief that they have violated federal civil immigration laws, when state and local officers are not competent to make such a determination or authorized to make it under federal law.
...78. SB 1070 as amended compels police officers to make immigration status determinations and to detain individuals based on a “reasonable suspicion” standard that is unworkable and cannot be applied by state and local officers; that requires impermissible reliance on race, national origin, and language; and that impermissibly burdens and interferes with the rights of lawful permanent resident immigrants and citizens in the State of Arizona.

The second in #74 might be problematic, but one wonders how the rest differs from the 287g program and what the Border Patrol and other federal agencies currently do.

Their attempts to make this a First Amendment issue are even more of a stretch:

85. For example, Plaintiff John Doe #1 is a resident of Phoenix, Arizona, and a legal permanent resident. His English proficiency is extremely limited and he speaks English with a noticeable accent. He fears that he will be targeted pursuant to SB 1070 based on the language in which he expresses himself.

"John Doe #1" already has to carry his green card or similar with him, and simply by presenting that to a cop he'll demonstrate that he's here illegally. Further, he'd have to be doing something else first in order to to be involved in a "stop, detention, or arrest"; if a cop asked him for his status just because he heard him speaking with an accent, that would seem to violate the law.

91. SB 1070 similarly interferes with the rights of out-of-state citizens to travel freely in Arizona because it subjects them to prolonged stops, arrest, and detention pending a determination of their immigration status.
92. For example, drivers licensed in the neighboring state of New Mexico, which does not require proof of "legal presence" before issuing driver’s licenses, will not be able to prove their authorization to remain in the United States readily if pulled over in Arizona.

As a public policy matter, New Mexico shouldn't be issuing drivers licenses which are a security risk; it's not surprising at all that the ACLU would be on the wrong side on public policy. I'll leave the legal questions to the experts; is one state required to accept another state's drivers licenses under all conditions?

[1] Those involved are:
* American Civil Liberties Union (national organization: Lucas Guttentag, Omar Jadwat, and others)
* Derechos Humanos (is/was collaborating with the Mexican government)
* Service Employees International Union (national and an Arizona local)
* MALDEF (Thomas Saenz and others)
* UFCW (national)
* National Immigration Law Center
* Border Action Network
* NAACP
* Tonatierra Community Development Institute (see this)
* Friendly House (local group)
* Arizona South Asians for Safe Families
* Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
* Asian Chamber of Commerce of Arizona
* Valle del Sol
* various religious groups and individuals

Mon, 05/17/2010 - 14:21 · Importance: 5