ADL Files Brief Opposing 'Misguided' Arizona Immigration Law

Phoenix, AZ, June 22, 2010 … Calling Arizona's restrictive new law on immigration, "ill-conceived and misguided," the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for Arizona in an effort to stop the legislation from going into effect.

Miriam Weisman, ADL Arizona Regional Chair, and Bill Straus, ADL Arizona Regional Director, issued the following statement:

Rather than making Arizona more secure, we believe this law will have the opposite effect. Fear of heightened law enforcement scrutiny about immigration status will deter victims and witnesses from coming forward and cooperating with the police, making it significantly more difficult for police to do their jobs.

We understand that secure borders are a legitimate concern, but SB 1070 does not effectively address that concern. Rather, this bill drives a wedge between the Latino community - whose members are frequent targets of bias-motivated violence - and those local law enforcement agencies entrusted with protecting them.

The bill is a manifestation of anger and frustration, fueled by exaggerated fears of violence and passed against a backdrop of increasing xenophobia. It is ill-conceived, misguided, and should not be implemented.

ADL is a longtime advocate of community–police partnerships to prevent, investigate and solve hate and bias-motivated crimes. The League's brief was prepared with the assistance of David J. Bodney and Peter S. Kozinets of thePhoenixoffice of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.

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