On April 23, 2010, Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed into law a discriminatory and un-American law that will require police officers in Arizona to ask people for their papers based only on some undefined "reasonable suspicion" that they are in the country unlawfully. We believe this law, which invites racial profiling in the worst way, is unconstitutional, and we will be challenging the law with a coalition of other civil rights groups.
Racial profiling is already rampant in Arizona, and if allowed to stand, this law will make it worse. We have seen the effects of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office's targeting of Latinos, including American citizens and lawful permanent residents, in its mass sweeps and enforcement operations. The ACLU already has a lawsuit against that office, and the United States Justice Department has started a civil rights investigation into its practices.
Language inserted in the bill supposedly to prevent racial profiling is purely cosmetic. It won't prevent the police from asking people for their papers based on race and the way they look. On what other basis would a police officer suspect that someone is not lawfully present in the United States?
This extreme law puts Arizona completely out of step with American values of fairness and equality. Arizona says show us your papers. We’ll show them the Constitution.
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