Latin American Countries Stand Against SB 1070

The countries include Mexico, El Salvador, and Brazil.

By Julianne Hing Oct 05, 2010

Eleven Latin American countries want permission to urge the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to strike down SB 1070, Arizona’s anti-immigrant law. Mexico and a host of other countries petitioned the court on Monday in order to file friend of the court briefs that restate their opposition to the law. In its original language, SB 1070 would have allowed officers enforcing state, local and even civil code to pull over anyone they had "reasonable suspicion" to believe was in the country without papers. It also created a new class of state crimes and punishments for federal civil immigration violations. The law was met with international outrage and organizing. Seven lawsuits were filed challenging the law, including one by the Department of Justice. On July 29, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton granted a partial injunction to block the most controversial parts of the law from going into effect, but the rest of the law, which includes crackdowns on day laborers and strengthened employer sanction laws, [went into effect]( At the time, Mexico, Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru all filed amicus briefs urging Bolton to enjoin SB 1070. Since then, Bolton has thrown two other lawsuits out of court, including one brought by an Arizona police officer. The primary legal challenge against SB 1070 has since moved to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where both sides have spent the summer refiling documents and motions to argue about the law’s constitutionality in the appeals court. This time, Mexico has been joined by Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru, who are all prepared to say that SB 1070 would harm international relations between their countries and the U.S. The DOJ is arguing that the federal government alone has the right to create and enforce immigration law, and that Arizona is overstepping its state powers by writing its own immigration policies. In August, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton included the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Arizona in a document of U.S. achievements to protect human rights that was presented before the U.N. human rights commissioner. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed SB 1070 into law on April 23 and has since become the primary spokesperson of the law, [shot a letter]( to Clinton and demanded that the lawsuit be taken off the list.