Court Blocks Implementation of Utah Law

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Adela de la Torre, NILC, (213) 674-2832; [email protected]
Elizabeth Beresford, ACLU national, (917) 498-9697; [email protected]

Court Blocks Implementation of Utah Law

SALT LAKE CITY — Ensuring that Utah law enforcement will not be required to demand “papers” from all people residing in or traveling through Utah, a federal district court in Salt Lake City today blocked implementation of the state’s “show me your papers” law, scheduled to go into effect today.

The law, passed earlier this year, authorizes police to demand “papers” demonstrating citizenship or immigration status during traffic stops, invites racial profiling of Latinos and others who appear “foreign” to an officer and interferes with federal law.

Today’s ruling came in a lawsuit filed by the National Immigration Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, and ACLU of Utah challenging the Utah law.

The following can be attributed to Linton Joaquin, General Counsel, National Immigration Law Center:

“We are relieved that the Court agreed to delay implementation of this harmful law. As stated in our complaint, HB 497 puts Utahns at risk of suffering several irreparable harms. We look forward to fighting to ensure that this unconstitutional law, which would subject people, particularly people of color, to unlawful interrogation and detention, and create a climate of fear in immigrant communities, will be removed entirely from the books.”

The following can be attributed to Darcy Goddard, Legal Director, ACLU of Utah:

“We are pleased the court has ordered that the law cannot take effect until the court has ample time to review the case in full. We anticipate proving to the court that this discriminatory law threatens the rights of all people in Utah. Like Arizona’s SB 1070, the Utah law violates the Constitution and is even worse in requiring all Utahns to carry their ‘papers’ at all times to prove they are lawfully present. Wherever civil liberties are threatened, be it in Utah, Arizona or elsewhere, we will continue to challenge unconstitutional laws like these.”

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