ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero believes the court’s decision Monday to uphold SB 1070’s “show me your papers” provision could still lead to widespread civil rights violations. He’s announced the ACLU is prepared to challenge any of the anti-immigrant laws that have popped up across the country since Arizona introduced SB 1070.

“We are not done in Arizona and will continue the battle against discriminatory laws like these that encourage racial profiling and undermine the constitutional guarantee of equal protection,” Romero said in a statement Monday. “Be it in the courts or in state legislatures, we will aggressively take on these laws and blunt the effects of this miscarriage of justice. When local police can stop and detain anyone they perceive as ‘foreign’ because of their skin color, their accent or their surname, it is a watershed moment for civil rights.”

“The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the “show me your papers” provision for now will lead to widespread civil rights violations until it is reviewed again and possibly struck down,” Romero said. “Today’s decision is an invitation for more litigation, while civil rights are inevitably violated.”

In anticipation of the ruling, Romero announced the ACLU has amassed an $8.77 million “war chest” to aggressively battle any state’s attempts to enact copycat legislation while also fighting the “corrosive effects” of existing anti-immigrant laws in Arizona and five other states.

More details via ACLU press release:

In anticipation of the ruling, Romero announced the ACLU has amassed an $8.77 million “war chest” to aggressively battle any state’s attempts to enact copycat legislation while also fighting the “corrosive effects” of existing anti-immigrant laws in Arizona and five other states.

The high court affirmed the most egregious and hotly disputed part of the Arizona law, S.B. 1070, which requires police to determine the immigration status of someone arrested or detained when there is “reasonable suspicion” a person is not in the U.S. legally. Although the state law is not yet in effect, some Arizona sheriffs have already engaged in widespread racial profiling and discrimination in a state that is 30 percent Latino.

“When law enforcement can say ‘show me your papers,’ Arizona begins to resemble a police state, rather than one of the United States.” Romero said. “At the same time S.B. 1070 and its copycats codify discrimination, polarize communities and undercut legitimate police work.”

The campaign against anti-immigrant laws announced by Romero today is underwritten by 14 leaders in the business and philanthropic communities, who he said recognize that “today’s decision betrays our country’s founding premise as a nation of immigrants and a beacon of freedom and justice.”

TAGS: SB 1070

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