Federal Court Deals New Blow to Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant SB 1070

Affiliate: ACLU of Arizona
October 8, 2013 12:00 am

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Today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion upholding a preliminary injunction against the “harboring” provision of Arizona’s SB 1070 law. The harboring provision was blocked by the district court in September of 2012, and the state of Arizona appealed to the Ninth Circuit.

As part of Arizona’s goal to discourage immigrants from living in the state, SB 1070’s harboring provision would have made it a crime for ordinary Arizonans to do simple things like give a neighbor or a relative a ride, or for a landlord to rent a home to certain immigrants. In today’s ruling the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals joined the Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuits in striking down state and local laws prohibiting various ordinary interactions with individuals based on immigration status.

SB 1070 has been challenged by a large civil rights coalition, including lead counsel from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC). This is the second time that the civil rights coalition has succeeded in enjoining additional provisions that were not ruled on in the Supreme Court’s 2012 decision on SB 1070. In both of those instances — day labor and harboring — the groups succeeded in the district court and also prevailed in the Ninth Circuit.

Click here for a copy of today’s ruling in Valle del Sol, et al v. State of Arizona, et al. The following are comments from various members of the coalition:

“We’ve demonstrated again today that the architects of SB 1070 disregarded not only human dignity and common sense, but also the United States Constitution, when they enacted Arizona’s infamous anti-immigrant law,” said Omar Jadwat, supervising attorney, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. “The punitive and self-destructive approach to immigration embodied in SB 1070 has correctly been rejected by state legislatures and courts around the country, and we look forward to the day when Arizona, too, abandons this regrettable course.”

“The federal courts have gutted SB 1070 and blocked enforcement of all of its criminal provisions, a point affirmed by today’s decision,” said Victor Viramontes, National Senior Counsel, MALDEF. “With this ruling, the Ninth Circuit again rebuked Arizona’s attempts to unconstitutionally target immigrants.”

“The Ninth Circuit has hammered another nail into the coffin of racial profiling laws like Arizona’s SB 1070,” said Nora Preciado, staff attorney, NILC. “This decision should serve as a reminder to state and federal lawmakers alike that attempts to criminalize daily interactions with immigrants will not be tolerated, inside or outside the courtroom.”

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