ADL to Supreme Court: Arizona Immigration Law Is Unconstitutional

New York, NY, March 27, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has filed an amicus brief (PDF) urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule Arizona's harsh anti-immigration law unconstitutional, saying that it would undermine essential state and federal hate crimes legislation.

Robert G. Sugarman, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

Arizona's harsh anti-immigration law would exacerbate fear in immigrant communities and make them feel increasingly vulnerable to hate crimes.

Victims and witnesses of hate-motivated attacks would be reluctant to speak to police for fear of repercussions as those same officers would be required to enforce immigration laws. Rather than make Arizona more secure, this law would drive a wedge between local law enforcement and the communities they are supposed to protect.

The law grew out of a frenzy of anti-immigrant rhetoric in Arizona, and has no place in a nation committed to protecting and defending those victims who are attacked due to hate, discrimination and bigotry.

While secure borders are a legitimate concern, this law is unwise and should not be implemented.   

ADL is a longtime advocate of community–police partnerships that 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 the Phoenix office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

On June 25, 2012, the Supreme Court struck down major sections of the Arizona law, while leaving one troubling provision in place. More

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.