Mexico-linked groups, ACLU, NILC, SPLC, SEIU sue Georgia over Arizona-style immigration law (+ADL, Mexico join)

A group of far-left, pro-illegal immigration groups are suing Georgia over that state's new Arizona-style immigration law. And, at least three of the groups have direct links to the Mexican government.

The names of most of those involved will be familiar: the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Law Center, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. The first two have recently also sued Indiana and Utah. The Service Employees International Union is one of the many plaintiffs in the Georgia suit; they're also involved in the Utah suit. The ACLU's press release is at [1].

The ACLU is one of the groups that's directly linked to the Mexican government. Another group linked to the Mexican government is a plaintiff in the case, the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights. GLAHR is headed by Teodoro Maus, former Mexican consul general in Atlanta. Another group, the Instituto de Mexico, is also directly linked to the Mexican government. Others involved in the suit include many names familiar from past ACLU/NILC suits; they're listed at [2].

There are at least two things you can do about this:

1. If the ACLU's summary of the law is factually incorrect as I suspect it is, point that out publicly. Contact reporters and otherwise attempt to show how the ACLU is lying.

2. Find a smart, experienced trial lawyer to challenge the ACLU on video about their support for illegal immigration and their coziness with the Mexican government. Discrediting the ACLU and revealing them for what they are would go a long way towards reducing the damage they do to the U.S. See their name's link above for some questions.

Discrediting groups like the ACLU to their current and potential supporters (not just to those who already oppose them) is the single most effective thing that you can do to prevent future suits like this. Please take a few minutes right now and encourage those in the area to organize efforts to discredit the ACLU to their supporters.

UPDATE: Obviously, there's a lot of money to be followed in this suit: immigration lawyers, entities linked to foreign governments that receive millions or billions by sending people to the U.S., entities linked to major employers, and so on. An example of the latter is here. It quotes Paul Bridges - mayor of Uvalda and a plaintiff in the suit - as saying:

"The immigrants who pick our Vidalia onions and other crops work fast and we can't get that kind of skilled labor otherwise."

Much has been written here about immigration agriculture, but a) Bridges isn't demanding that onion growers hire only legal workers, such as some of the millions of unemployed Americans, b) if onion growers can't find enough labor then perhaps they'll spur innovation in developing onion-picking machines, and c) the South's record on cheap labor isn't that great.

UPDATE 2: A leader of Workers United has made a racist quote; ask the SPLC to denounce the quote.

6/16/11 UPDATE: The Anti Defamation League has submitted a brief in the case, as have Mexico and several other countries. Not only are three of the groups initially involved in the case linked to the Mexican government, but now that government is directly involved.

[1] ACLU, NILC and Civil Rights Coalition File Lawsuit Challenging Georgia “Show Me Your Papers” Law

Law Would Turn Georgia Into Police State and Invite Racial Profiling, Groups Say
June 2, 2011
ATLANTA – The American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and a coalition of other civil rights groups filed a class action lawsuit today challenging Georgia’s discriminatory anti-immigrant law passed last month and inspired by Arizona’s notorious SB 1070. The Georgia law authorizes police to demand “papers” demonstrating citizenship or immigration status during traffic stops, criminalizes Georgians who interact daily with undocumented individuals and makes it unjustifiably difficult for individuals without specific identification documents to access state facilities and services. The lawsuit charges that the extreme law endangers public safety, invites the racial profiling of Latinos, Asians and others who appear foreign to an officer and interferes with federal law.

Along with the ACLU and NILC, the coalition filing the lawsuit includes the ACLU of Georgia, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Asian Law Caucus.

“Georgia’s law is fundamentally un-American: we are not a ’show me your papers’ country, nor one that believes in making certain people ‘untouchables’ that others should be afraid to assist, house, or transport,” said Omar Jadwat, staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. “The courts have blocked Arizona and Utah’s laws from going into effect. Georgia should be prepared for the same outcome.”

Georgia is the third state to have enacted laws emulating Arizona’s controversial and costly SB 1070, even though the Arizona law was blocked by the courts. Utah and Indiana passed similar laws earlier this year. After an ACLU and NILC lawsuit, a federal district court last month put Utah’s law on hold pending further review. The ACLU and NILC also filed a legal challenge to Indiana’s law.

“Georgia’s HB 87 is out of step with fundamental values and the rule of law,” said Karen Tumlin, managing attorney with NILC. “It gives Georgians a reason to fear that they may be stripped of their constitutional rights simply because of the way they look or sound. Laws that promote this kind of bare-bones discrimination are out of step with history and cannot be allowed to stand. We are confident that the Court will agree that unconstitutional attempts to drive a wedge between Georgian communities should not be allowed.”

The lawsuit charges that Georgia’s law, HB 87, is unconstitutional because it unlawfully interferes with federal power and authority over immigration matters in violation of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution; authorizes and requires unreasonable seizures and arrests in violation of the Fourth Amendment; restricts the constitutional right to travel freely throughout the United States; and violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the U.S. Constitution by unlawfully discriminating against people who hold certain kinds of identity documents.

“This extreme law criminalizes everyday folks who have daily interactions with undocumented individuals in their community, making people of faith and others vulnerable to arrest and detention while conducting acts of charity and kindness,” Said Debbie Seagraves, executive director of the ACLU of Georgia.

One of the plaintiffs in the case, Paul J. Edwards, is a devout Christian and a board member of a local faith group, who strongly believes in helping all individuals in his community regardless of their immigration status. As part of his religious commitment, Edwards transports people, including those who are undocumented, to places of worship and to locations that provide medical assistance. Under the Georgia law, Mr. Edwards would be subject to criminal liability for assisting, transporting and harboring these undocumented individuals.

Mary Bauer, legal director, Southern Poverty Law Center
“This law undermines our core American values of fairness and equality,” said Mary Bauer, legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “By perpetuating the hate rhetoric that has become commonplace among many elected officials, this law threatens the rights of citizens and non-citizens alike by encouraging racial profiling. Sadly, too, it places Georgia on the wrong side of history.”

Another plaintiff, Paul Bridges, is a long-time supporter of the Republican Party and is the mayor of Uvalda, Georgia, a town of approximately 600 people in Montgomery County. Because Mr. Bridges speaks Spanish and is a well-known presence in the community, he often assists with interpretation in schools, doctors’ offices, court and other settings. He also provides transportation to undocumented individuals so they can go to church, the grocery store, doctors’ appointments and soccer tournaments in nearby towns. If the Georgia law goes into effect, Mr. Bridges and the undocumented individuals traveling with him will be at risk of criminal prosecution.

“Georgia is home to one of the fastest growing Asian populations,” said Sin Yen Ling, senior staff attorney with the Asian Law Caucus. ”This law encourages racial profiling of Asian Americans and immigrants, and must be struck down.”

The lawsuit was filed today in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on behalf of civil rights, labor, social justice and faith-based organizations, including Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, Service Employees International Union, the Southern Regional Joint Board of Workers United, Alterna, Coalition of Latino Leaders, Task Force for the Homeless,, Instituto de Mexico, Coalition for the People’s Agenda and the Asian American Legal Advocacy Center; individually named plaintiffs who would be subject to harassment or arrest under the law; and a class of similarly situated people.

Attorneys on the case include Jadwat, Andre Segura, Elora Mukherjee, Cecillia D. Wang and Kate Desormeau of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project; Tumlin, Linton Joaquin, Nora A. Preciado, Melissa S. Keaney, Tanya Broder and Jonathan Blazer of the National Immigration Law Center; Bauer, Andrew H. Turner, Samuel Brooke, Naomi Tsu, Michelle R. Lapointe and Daniel Werner of the Southern Poverty Law Center; Chara Fisher Jackson and Azadeh N. Shahshahani of the ACLU of Georgia; G. Brian Spears; Ling of the Asian Law Caucus; R. Keegan Federal, Jr. of Federal & Hassan, LLP.; and Charles H. Kuck and Danielle M. Conley of Kuck Immigration Partners, LLC.

Additional information about the case, including a copy of the complaint, is available online at:

[2] Others listed are:
Asian Law Caucus
Charles Kuck (a past president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association)
Debbie Seagraves (executive director of the ACLU of Georgia)
Mary Bauer (legal director, Southern Poverty Law Center)
Sin Yen Ling (senior staff attorney with the Asian Law Caucus)
Omar Jadwat
Karen Tumlin
Cecillia Wang
Kate Desormeau
Linton Joaquin
Andre Segura
Workers United
Coalition of Latino Leaders
Task Force for the Homeless
Coalition for the Peoples Agenda
Asian American Legal Advocacy Center
Elora Mukherjee
Nora Preciado
Melissa Keaney
Tanya Broder
Jonathan Blazer
Andrew Turner
Sam Brooke
Naomi Tsu
Michelle Lapointe
Daniel Werner
Chara Fisher Jackson
Azadeh Shahshahani
Brian Spears
Keegan Federal
Federal and Hassan (law firm)
Danielle Conley