MALDEF Condemns AZ Governor Brewer for Signing Unconstitutional Anti-Immigrant Bill

MALDEF will pursue all legal options to challenge SB 1070

April 23, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz issued the following statement in response to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s signing of Senate Bill 1070.

“The extremely disappointing news that Governor Brewer caved to the radical fringe by signing SB 1070 launches Arizona into a spiral of pervasive fear, community distrust, increased crime and costly litigation, with nationwide repercussions. This cowardly gubernatorial act is the epitome of irresponsible leadership.

Nonetheless, the Arizona community is not alone. MALDEF and others will be pursuing all legal avenues to challenge this law. We have every expectation, based upon judicial precedent and unquestioned constitutional values, that SB 1070 will be enjoined before it can ever take effect.

One significant measure of SB 1070’s patent illegality is that it seeks to implement Arizona’s own scheme of immigration regulation – separate and in conflict with federal government policy – when our Constitution envisions a unified nation under one federal set of immigration regulations to be adopted by Congress and implemented by the President. By rejecting that constitutional plan, Arizona’s enactment of SB 1070 is tantamount to a declaration of secession. In response, the federal government must act to preserve our united nation by clearly stating that it will not cooperate in any way with the implementation of SB 1070 – that it will not adjust or alter its immigration enforcement priorities to the detriment of other states simply to accommodate Arizona's most recent exercise in racial demagoguery.

At the same time, Arizona should brace for the inevitable response to its leadership’s folly – decreased cooperation with police that yields higher rates of crime, decreased international commerce that has ripple effects throughout the state economy, and a significant waste of taxpayer resources on defending and vainly attempting to implement a deeply flawed law.”

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Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund