Category Archives: June 2011

Community Groups Sue L.A. County Sheriff Baca

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 30, 2011

CONTACT:
Adela de la Torre, NILC, (213) 674-2832; delatorre@Nilc.org  
Jessica Karp, NDLON: 917-855-7682; jkarp@ndlon.org
Carl Bergquist, CHIRLA: 310-279-6025; cbergquist@chirla.org

Lawsuit Seeks to Uncover Truth Behind Sheriff’s Immigration Operations in Los Angeles County

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — After years of requesting public documents through the California Public Records Act, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) today announced that they were taking legal action to obtain information about the Los Angeles County’s ties to federal immigration enforcement efforts.

Community members served Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca with a summons and petition during a demonstration outside of his office protesting the criminalization of immigrants in Los Angeles. The petition names Baca as the defendant in a lawsuit, which charges that the sheriff violated the California Public Records Act by refusing to disclose information about his dealings with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The demonstration follows a storm of controversy triggered by Sheriff Baca’s recent remarks about undocumented immigrants. Demonstrators decried the sheriff’s collaboration with ICE, including his participation in the controversial Secure Communities (S-Comm) program. Baca has publicly championed S-Comm, despite serious criticisms of the program from civil rights groups across the country, calls from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus for a moratorium pending investigation of racial profiling concerns, and demands by the states of New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts to withdraw from it.

“Los Angelenos expect their sheriff to be a fair and just leader and to apply the law in accordance with the context under which an incident has occurred. Sheriff Baca’s enthusiastic support of S-Comm is disconcerting and dangerous and sets him apart not as an ally of the community but as one who blindly follows instead of leading,” said Angelica Salas, CHIRLA executive director.

NDLON’s staff attorney Jessica Karp said, “ICE has used secrecy and deception to create monsters out of sheriff departments throughout the country. This is L.A., not Phoenix.  We demand transparency from our sheriff, and we have zero tolerance for civil rights violations.”

“Our democracy is dependent upon an open and transparent government,” said Melissa Keaney, an attorney with the National Immigration Law Center. “Unfortunately, both federal and local officials involved in controversial and largely discredited immigration enforcement programs like S-Comm and 287(g) seem to have forgotten this central component of good governance. Angelenos, as well as community members across the country, deserve to know about government activities, including those of local law enforcement.”

Sanjukta Paul, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said, “Looking at the plain text of the California Public Records Act requiring that public records be just that—public—and looking at the courts’ and the Constitution’s strongly worded reiterations of that fundamental requirement, I am truly surprised by the recalcitrance of the Sheriff’s Department, a sophisticated public entity, in responding to legitimate requests for information from these organizations regarding matters that are plainly of public concern.”

The law office of Sanjukta Paul represents the lawsuit’s plaintiffs.

A copy of the petition is available at www.change.org/petitions/tell-los-angeles-county-sheriff-baca-the-constitution-protects-us-all.

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Federal Court Blocks Georgia’s Anti-Immigrant Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 27, 2011

CONTACT:
Adela de la Torre, NILC, (213) 674-2832; delatorre@nilc.org
Elizabeth Beresford, ACLU national, (212) 519-7808 or 549-2666; media@aclu.org
Azadeh Shahshahani, ACLU of Georgia, (404) 574-0851; ashahshahani@acluga.org
Marion Steinfels, Southern Poverty Law Center, (334) 956-8417; marion.steinfels@splcenter.org
Sin Yen Ling, Asian Law Caucus, (415) 896-1701; sinyenL@asianlawcaucus.org

Federal Court Blocks Georgia’s Anti-Immigrant Law

ATLANTA — A federal judge in Georgia today issued the latest judicial rebuke to anti-immigrant laws passed this legislative season by state legislatures across the country. The National Immigration Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, and a coalition of civil rights groups requested that the law be blocked from going into effect, pending a final ruling on its constitutionality. Today’s decision makes clear that H.B. 87is unlikely to survive constitutional review because it improperly interferes with federal law.

Georgia is the fourth state in which a federal court has blocked costly and controversial anti-immigrant laws. A federal appellate court upheld an Arizona district court decision to block SB 1070’s most troubling provisions, and, after ACLU and NILC lawsuits, federal district courts put Utah and Indiana’s laws on hold pending further review. NILC, the ACLU, and the Southern Poverty Law Center have also announced plans to challenge Alabama’s and South Carolina’s Arizona-inspired anti-immigrant laws.

The following can be attributed to Karen Tumlin, managing attorney of NILC:
“The court rightly recognized that Georgia cannot, and should not, curtail fundamental freedoms for countless Georgians simply because of the color of their skin. We are pleased that the court has prevented the most pernicious elements of this draconian law from going into effect. Today’s decision, as well as those in Indiana, Utah, and Arizona, should send a strong warning signal to states considering treading down the same unconstitutional path: do so at your own risk.”

The following can be attributed to Omar Jadwat, staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project:
“Georgia’s law, like Arizona’s, Utah’s, and Indiana’s before it, has been blocked by a federal court because it is fundamentally flawed. The universal failure of these laws in the courts is a stinging rebuke to state lawmakers who have pushed laws that would threaten all of our freedoms in order to express their hostility to immigrants and immigration. Thanks to today’s ruling, Georgia will not become a ‘show me your papers’ state on July 1.”

The following can be attributed to Debbie Seagraves, executive director of the ACLU of Georgia:
“We are very happy that this decision means that people who minister to the poor and offer assistance to those in need can continue to practice their beliefs without being criminalized.”

The following can be attributed to Dan Werner, deputy legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center Immigrant Justice Project:
“This landmark ruling protects those living in Georgia from unconstitutional racial profiling, upholds the principle that federal functions such as immigration enforcement should rest with federal government authorities and hopefully will steady Georgia’s already shaky economy due to the law passing from another major blow.”

The following can be attributed to Sin Yen Ling, staff attorney with the Asian Law Caucus:
“Judge Thrash’s decision to strike down the most discriminatory parts of the law is a victory for Asians, Latinos, and all people of color in Georgia. This is a strong message that racial profiling of immigrants and those perceived to be will not be tolerated in Georgia state.”

The civil rights coalition includes NILC, the ACLU, the ACLU of Georgia, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Asian Law Caucus, Federal & Hassan, LLP, Kuck Immigration Partners, LLC, and G. Brian Spears.

Attorneys on the case include Jadwat, Andre Segura, Elora Mukherjee, Cecillia D. Wang, and Kate Desormeau of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project; Tumlin, Linton Joaquin, Nora A. Preciado, Melissa S. Keaney, Tanya Broder, and Jonathan Blazer of the National Immigration Law Center; Bauer, Andrew H. Turner, Samuel Brooke, Naomi Tsu, Michelle R. Lapointe, and Daniel Werner of the Southern Poverty Law Center; Chara Fisher Jackson and Azadeh N. Shahshahani of the ACLU of Georgia; G. Brian Spears; Ling of the Asian Law Caucus; R. Keegan Federal, Jr. of Federal & Hassan, LLP.; and Charles H. Kuck and Danielle M. Conley of Kuck Immigration Partners, LLC.

See the preliminary injunction order. (PDF)

See the Notice of Motion and Motion for Preliminary Injunction. (PDF)

See the Brief in Support of the Motion for Preliminary Injunction. (PDF)

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Court Blocks Implementation of Anti-Immigrant Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 24, 2011

CONTACT
Adela de la Torre, NILC, (213) 674-2832; delatorre@nilc.org
Elizabeth Beresford, (917) 498-9697 or (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

Law is Third of its Kind to be Blocked by Federal Courts

INDIANAPOLIS – A federal judge today blocked the implementation of a discriminatory Indiana law inspired by Arizona’s notorious SB 1070. The National Immigration Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit last month charging that the law authorizes police to make warrantless arrests of individuals based on assumed immigration status and criminalizes the mere use or acceptance of commonly used consular ID cards. The groups also charged in their lawsuit that the law will lead to racial profiling and trample upon the rights of all Indiana residents.

Judges in Arizona and Utah have blocked the implementation of similar anti-immigrant laws in those states, and the ACLU, NILC and others earlier this month filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction against an anti-immigrant law in Georgia. The ACLU and NILC have also publicly announced their intention to legally challenge the most draconian anti-immigrant law passed June 3 in Alabama.

The following can be attributed to Shiu-Ming Cheer, staff attorney, NILC:

“Today’s decision will prevent countless Indianans of color from suffering unnecessary and unconstitutional rights violations simply because their legislators passed a draconian law. We are pleased that the court has prevented the most pernicious and discriminatory elements of this law from going into effect, and we look forward to the day that it is permanently removed from Indiana’s law books.”

The following can be attributed to Andre Segura, staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project:

“We are pleased the court has blocked this discriminatory law from taking effect. Wherever civil liberties are threatened, be it in Utah, Arizona, Indiana or elsewhere, we will continue to challenge unconstitutional laws like these.”

Read the court’s order granting the preliminary injunction. (PDF)

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Senate Dems Introduce Practical Legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 22, 2011

CONTACT
Adela de la Torre, NILC, (213) 674-2832

A Sensible Plan: Senate Democrats Introduce Practical Legislation to Produce Jobs, Protect Our Workforce, and Increase American Prosperity

WASHINGTON, DC — Along with five cosponsors, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2011 (S.1258). The legislation, which would offer a comprehensive solution to fix our broken immigration system and foster economic recovery, is the first bill of its kind in the 112th Congress. Below is a statement from Tyler Moran, policy director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“By incorporating proposals championed by Republicans and Democrats alike, Sen. Menendez and his colleagues today have laid out a plan to effectively fix our broken immigration system without stalling our economy or ripping our communities apart. The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act not only would fix a system that has for too long been out of whack with America’s economic and societal needs, but it recognizes that, in the absence of a legal workforce, forcing employers to verify the employment authorization of their workers by using E-Verify would undermine our economy and cause the loss of hundreds of thousands of American jobs.

“Their effort stands in stark contrast with the mass-deportation and anti-worker agenda espoused by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and his colleagues, who seem willing to risk our economic recovery and drive unemployment rates to unprecedented levels to score politics points. We hope colleagues will join Sen. Menendez, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) to support this workable solution to fix a system that has for too long been held hostage to partisan politics.”

The text of the bill is available fromhttp://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php. The bill number is S.1258.
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NILC Will File Lawsuit Challenging South Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 21, 2011

CONTACT
Adela de la Torre, NILC, (213) 674-2832; delatorre@nilc.org

Bill Recalls State’s Shameful History of Racial Discrimination

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The National Immigration Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of South Carolina, and a coalition of civil rights groups announced they will file a lawsuit challenging the draconian racial profiling bill passed by the South Carolina legislature today if Gov. Nikki Haley signs it into law.

The bill’s key provisions sanction discriminatory and unconstitutional practices by police officers and employers by inviting racial profiling of Latinos and others based on how they look or talk, interfering federal law. Under this extreme bill, police are required to demand “papers” from people they stop whom they suspect are not authorized to be in the U.S.

The following can be attributed to . . .

Cecillia Wang, director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project:

“It’s appalling that the South Carolina legislature went into a special summer session to pass this discriminatory bill, particularly since federal courts have blocked its cousins in Arizona and Utah. These states are in a race to the bottom. Not only does this bill mimic Arizona’s notorious S.B. 1070, it goes even further by attempting to create South Carolina’s own immigration enforcement agency authorized to detain people based solely on how they look or talk. If the governor signs this bill, we are prepared to stand up for the civil liberties of all South Carolinians just as we have in every state that has passed similar copycat bills.”

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:
“Like Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, and Utah, South Carolina has now passed an unconstitutional law that betrays our American values. If Gov. Haley signs this law, she will join Governor Brewer and others on the wrong side of history. When considering this legislation, we hope the Governor puts the best interests of her state and the values of the U.S. Constitution above extremist politics of hate.”

Victoria Middleton, executive director, ACLU of South Carolina:
“It’s disappointing that the South Carolina legislature made this discriminatory bill a top priority in a special summer session, particularly given the state’s serious budget shortfall. This legislation is a shameful throw-back to the pre-Civil Rights era and we call on Gov. Haley to veto this deeply misguided bill. The ACLU will stand up for the civil rights and liberties of all residents of South Carolina if she does not.”

Dan Werner, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center Immigrant Justice Project:
“It is extremely disappointing to see the South Carolina state legislature following in these ill-fated footsteps by passing this legislation that will sacrifice citizens’ safety, cost the state an untold amount in taxpayer dollars and perpetuate bigotry. If Gov. Haley signs this legislation, SPLC will join our counterparts in fighting this unconstitutional and racist law to protect the civil rights of every South Carolinian.”

Tammy Besherse, staff attorney with the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center:
“We have already seen the courts block Arizona’s law. Moving forward with a law that is unconstitutional will only cost our state—which has already had to make deep cuts to essential services—more money that we don’t have.”

See NILC’s latest map showing the status of Arizona-inspired legislationacross the country.

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S-COMM Should Be Suspended Immediately

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2011

CONTACT
Adela de la Torre, NILC, (213) 674-2832

Proposed Changes to Secure Communities: Too Little, Too Late

LOS ANGELES — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement today announced several changes to its much-criticized Secure Communities (S-COMM) program. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“S-COMM has resulted in untold numbers of fundamental rights violations, and the proposed changes announced today don’t change the program’s underlying deficiencies.

“Furthermore, the announcement proves that the conclusion reached by Gov. Cuomo of New York, Gov. Patrick of Massachusetts, and Gov. Quinn of Illinois is correct:  S-COMM is simply too broken to be allowed to continue operating. Far too many members of our communities, many of whom came to the police as victims of crime, have been ensnared by this program and deported already.

“Since S-COMM’s inception, we’ve raised serious concerns about the inevitable rights violations that would occur because of this program. We were right: immigrant communities now know that a simple traffic violation or no criminal conviction at all can lead to a deportation order. As a result, immigrants are afraid to come into contact with local law enforcement officers, even as victims of, or witnesses to crime. This has threatened the safety of all of our communities.

“At this time, the only appropriate measure would be to heed the requests of Illinois, New York, and Massachusetts by suspending this program at a national level. Only then can we work towards creating secure communities for all.”

See the ICE announcement. (PDF)

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NILC Policy Director Testifies on the Legal Workforce Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 15, 2011

CONTACT:
Adela de la Torre, NILC, (213) 674-2832; delatorre@nilc.org

Moran Illuminates Flaws in Rep. Lamar Smith’s Recently-Introduced Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 2164)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tyler Moran, policy director for the National Immigration Law Center, served as an expert witness during a hearing about the Legal Workforce Act, Rep. Lamar Smith’s recently introduced legislation mandating that all employers use an error-ridden Internet-based employment eligibility verification system modeled on E-Verify. The hearing, which took place in the House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement, was the first public discussion of the controversial bill.

According to Moran, “Making use of E-Verify or any electronic employment eligibility verification system mandatory, outside of broader reform of our immigration system, will undermine American jobs and ultimately impose new burdens on our economy, workers and businesses . . . We need enforcement of labor, employment and civil rights laws, not the current churning of the workforce, where undocumented workers are often preferred over documented workers because they are easier to hire and fire.”

Moran, an expert on immigration and labor issues, has researched E-Verify for nearly a decade and is recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts on the system.

To read Moran’s testimony, visit www.nilc.org/immsemplymnt/ircaempverif/Legal-Workforce-Act-imm-subcomm-testimony-2011-06-15.pdf. To watch and listen to Moran’s testimony, go to http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/hear_06152011.html. Click on the “Watch Video Webcast” icon under “Hearing Documentation.” Fast-forward to minute 28:40 (when the hearing starts) or to minute 1:13:24 (when Moran begins her testimony).

To speak with Moran about E-Verify and other immigrant labor issues, please contact Adela de la Torre at 213-674-2832 or delatorre@nilc.org.

General summary of H.R. 2164. (PDF)

Detailed summary of H.R. 2164 (table format). (PDF)

Ley de Fuerza Laboral Legal. (PDF)

Statement of Tyler Moran, Policy Director, National Immigration Law Center, to the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement, Hearing on H.R. 2164, the Legal Workforce Act, June 15, 2011. (PDF)

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Smith EEVS Bill Hurts Jobs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, June 14, 2011

CONTACT:
Adela de la Torre, NILC, (213) 674-2832; delatorre@nilc.org

Bill Would Push Hundreds of Thousands of Americans Out of Work, Force Millions of Others to Stand in Government Lines to Fix Their Record

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) today introduced the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 2164), legislation that would force every employer in the country to use a flawed Internet-based tool, patterned on E-Verify, to verify workers’ eligibility to be employed in the U.S. The legislation would prevent hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens and lawfully authorized workers from getting jobs and force millions more to either stand in government office lines to remedy their records or risk losing employment.

Though the program is designed to push undocumented immigrants out of the workforce, its most serious flaw is that it categorically fails to achieve its stated purpose: it does not detect 54 percent of unauthorized workers who are put through the system.  Below is a statement by Tyler Moran, policy director of the National Immigration Law Center and a national expert on electronic employment verification systems:

“Lamar Smith has introduced legislation that would serve as an economic poison pill, threatening our already fragile economy. According to the most conservative estimates, Smith’s bill would push hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens and other lawfully authorized workers, many of them breadwinners for their families, out of their jobs and into unemployment lines. This isn’t the economic stimulus our country needs.

“Smith, whose real agenda is to place as many immigrants as possible into the deportation pipeline, is disguising this proposal as a means of stimulating the economy. His rhetoric ignores our country’s dependence on the eight million unauthorized workers currently here, many of whom do vital jobs that keep the country running. Furthermore, his bill would simply push these workers and their employers into the cash economy, resulting in billions of dollars of lost tax revenue.

“Instead of working with his colleagues across the aisle to rebuild our economy or fix our broken immigration system, Smith has chosen to force employers to use a fatally flawed system that he knows does not work and will only serve to advance his anti-immigrant agenda. It’s time for Smith to abandon his radical ideology and focus instead on restarting our sputtering economy.”

General summary of H.R. 2164(PDF)

Detailed summary of H.R. 2164 (table format). (PDF)

Ley de Fuerza Laboral Legal. (PDF)

Statement of Tyler Moran, Policy Director, National Immigration Law Center, to the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement, Hearing on H.R. 2164, the Legal Workforce Act, June 15, 2011. (PDF)

To watch and listen to the hearing, go to http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/hear_06152011.html. Click on the “Watch Video Webcast” icon under “Hearing Documentation.” Fast-forward to minute 28:40 (when hearing starts) or to minute 1:13:24 (when Ms. Moran begins her testimony).

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Alabama Wins Race to the Bottom

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 9, 2011

CONTACT:
Adela de la Torre, NILC, (213) 674-2832; delatorre@nilc.org

Alabama Wins Race to the Bottom

LOS ANGELES — Alabama Governor Bentley today signed into law what may be the harshest state-level, anti-immigrant measure to date. Inspired by Arizona’s notorious racial profiling law, SB 1070, the new Alabama law imposes a draconian immigration enforcement scheme that will subject immigrants and people of color to scrutiny in every aspect of their lives, including when renting homes, taking their children to school, and even entering into contracts. The law would hinder schools from fulfilling the vital task of educating our youth and require them instead to verify the immigration status of children in attendance, as well as their parents, and report the information to state authorities. The law also criminalizes basic, daily interactions between U.S. citizens and other lawfully present individuals and undocumented immigrants. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“Today, Alabama effectively turned state workers, peace officers, and school teachers into de facto immigration agents. Immigrants and people of color will be subjected to additional, unconstitutional scrutiny when they take their children to school or interact with local law enforcement officers. Friends and family members of undocumented immigrants will face criminal charges simply for driving them to church or to the grocery store.

“By passing HB 86, Alabama’s legislators have deemed an entire class of people not worthy of the most fundamental rights, which were carefully prescribed to all people by our Founding Fathers. This law effectively makes immigrants the latest group of people to suffer a legalization of discriminatory behavior against them, and threatens to turn back the clock on our hard-won civil rights.

“Americans – regardless of the way they look or sound, or where they were born – deserve nothing less than to see this egregious affront to our basic liberties taken to court. We will join our colleagues from other civil rights organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center, to ensure that Alabama joins Arizona, Utah, Indiana, and Georgia in a legal battle over this unconstitutional law that flies in the face of American values and undermines our basic concept of freedom.

“We are confident that the federal court will strike down Alabama’s law as unconstitutional. We will continue to support the efforts of Alabamans and people across the country who are continuing the state’s rich organizing tradition to challenge this unjust law.”

See NILC’s latest map showing the status of Arizona-inspired legislation across the country.

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NILC Asks Court to Block H.B. 87

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 8, 2011

CONTACT:
Adela de la Torre, NILC, (213) 674-2832; delatorre@nilc.org
Elizabeth Beresford, ACLU national, (212) 519-7808 or 549-2666; media@aclu.org
Azadeh Shahshahani, ACLU of Georgia, (404) 574-0851; ashahshahani@acluga.org
Marion Steinfels, Southern Poverty Law Center, (334) 956-8417; marion.steinfels@splcenter.org
Sin Yen Ling, Asian Law Caucus, (415) 896-1701; sinyenL@asianlawcaucus.org

NILC Asks Court to Block H.B. 87

ATLANTA — The National Immigration Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of civil rights organizations today asked a federal court to block implementation of Georgia’s draconian new anti-immigrant law. The law, inspired by Arizona’s S.B. 1070 and scheduled to go into effect July 1, authorizes police to demand “papers” demonstrating citizenship or immigration status during routine encounters, criminalizes Georgians who interact with undocumented individuals, and denies individuals without specific identification access to state facilities and services.

In a motion requesting a preliminary injunction, the groups charge that Georgia’s discriminatory law unlawfully interferes with federal power and authority over immigration matters, in violation of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution; authorizes unreasonable seizures and arrests, in violation of the Fourth Amendment; restricts the constitutional right to travel freely throughout the United States; and violates the separation of powers principles in the Georgia Constitution. The motion asks the court to prevent the law from going into effect pending a final ruling on its constitutionality.

Although the vast majority of states have declined to follow Arizona’s lead by enacting laws such as S.B. 1070, three have done so: Utah, Indiana, and Georgia. An even more restrictive law was passed last week by the Alabama legislature. The main provisions of Arizona’s law have been blocked by the federal courts. After an ACLU and NILC lawsuit, a federal district court last month put Utah’s law on hold pending further review. Last month the ACLU and NILC also filed a legal challenge to Indiana’s law, which is scheduled to go into effect on July 1.

Along with NILC and the ACLU, the civil rights coalition includes the ACLU of Georgia, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Asian Law Caucus, Federal & Hassan, LLP, Kuck Immigration Partners, LLC, and G. Brian Spears.

The following quotes can be attributed to members of the coalition, as listed below.

Linton Joaquin, general counsel of NILC
“Unless this law is blocked, countless Georgians — native-born and immigrant alike — will suffer grave constitutional rights violations, be subject to racial profiling or criminalized because of their interactions with their neighbors and family. These people should not be subject to these irreparable harms simply because an unconstitutional law is on the books.”

Omar Jadwat, staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project
“HB 87 undermines basic principles of fairness, equality and liberty by criminalizing basic acts of human decency and creating a ‘show me your papers’ policing system in the state of Georgia. We are confident that the court will recognize the clear danger the law poses to the civil rights and civil liberties of all Georgians and will prevent the law from taking effect.”

Debbie Seagraves, executive director of ACLU of Georgia
“It is imperative that our clients who are engaged in charitable work know that they can continue their work without facing fines or jail time. If this law goes into effect, they cannot be sure that they will not be punished for following their religious mandates.”

Sin Yen Ling, senior staff attorney with the Asian Law Caucus
“Asian and Latino communities in Georgia will be disproportionately impacted if HB 87 is permitted to go into effect on July 1st. The court must grant the injunction to prevent Georgia from engaging in racial profiling of immigrant communities.”

Mary Bauer, legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center
“If allowed to take effect, this law will threaten the rights of citizens and noncitizens alike by encouraging racial profiling. It undermines our core American values of fairness and equality.”

The preliminary injunction motion was filed today in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on behalf of civil rights, labor, social justice and faith-based organizations, including Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, Service Employees International Union, the Southern Regional Joint Board of Workers United, Alterna, Coalition of Latino Leaders, Task Force for the Homeless, DreamActivist.org, Instituto de Mexico, Coalition for the People’s Agenda, and the Asian American Legal Advocacy Center; individually named plaintiffs who would be subject to harassment or arrest under the law; and a class of similarly situated people.

Attorneys on the case include Jadwat, Andre Segura, Cecillia D. Wang, and Kate Desormeau of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project; Elora Mukherjee of the ACLU Racial Justice Program; Joaquin, Karen C. Tumlin, Nora A. Preciado, Melissa S. Keaney, Tanya Broder, and Jonathan Blazer of the National Immigration Law Center; Bauer, Andrew H. Turner, Samuel Brooke, Naomi Tsu, Michelle R. Lapointe, and Daniel Werner of the Southern Poverty Law Center; Chara Fisher Jackson and Azadeh N. Shahshahani of the ACLU of Georgia; Ling of the Asian Law Caucus; R. Keegan Federal, Jr. of Federal & Hassan, LLP.; Charles H. Kuck and Danielle M. Conley of Kuck Immigration Partners, LLC; and G. Brian Spears.

See the Notice of Motion and Motion for Preliminary Injunction. (PDF)

See the Brief in Support of the Motion for Preliminary Injunction. (PDF)

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