Phoenix, AZ, April 11, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to uphold a temporary block on several key provisions of Arizona's controversial immigration law, known as SB 1070.
ADL Arizona Regional Board Chair Miriam Weisman and Regional Director Bill Straus issued the following statement:
ADL is gratified by the decision which recognizes that key provisions of Arizona's anti-immigrant law are unconstitutional. The court correctly concluded that these provisions are preempted by federal law and would have a "detrimental effect on foreign affairs." Border security is a legitimate concern, but seriously flawed state laws like SB 1070 are not the answer. Rather than making Arizona more secure, this law would have the opposite effect.
Fear of heightened scrutiny about immigration status can only deepen the divide between the Latino community - whose members are frequent targets of bias-motivated violence - and those local law enforcement agencies entrusted with protecting them, making it significantly more difficult for police to do their jobs.
This ill-conceived law was passed against a backdrop of increasing xenophobia. The court's decision is an important step forward toward civil rights and highlights the urgent need for comprehensive immigration reform.
Arizona's law would, among other things, require a law enforcement officer to check the immigration status of any person that they have stopped if they have a "reasonable suspicion" that that person is an undocumented immigrant.
In September, ADL filed (PDF) an amicus brief arguing that the proposed law would make Arizona less secure by driving a wedge between the Latino community and those local law enforcement agencies entrusted with protecting them. The League's brief was prepared with the assistance of David J. Bodney and Peter S. Kozinets of the Phoenix office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.