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SB 1070 OPPONENTS PREPARED TO SPEND MILLIONS TO CONTINUE FIGHT

Posted by Phoenix Immigration Attorney Nick Alcock:

Monday’s high court ruling on SB 1070 appears to be just another step in a fight that will likely continue for years.

Merely a few hours after the U.S. Supreme Court released its highly anticipated decision on the controversial and hotly debated Arizona immigration law, opponents of SB 1070 said they have set aside millions of dollars to continue fighting the law.

A divided court rejected three parts of the law but refused to block a fourth part requiring local police, in some circumstances, to check the immigration status of suspects stopped for other crimes. The so-called “papers, please” portion of the law is the one that most troubles opponents, who say it opens the door to racial profiling.

The American Civil Liberties Union announced following Monday’s ruling it has set aside nearly $8.8 million for lawsuits against the “papers, please” provision of SB 1070 and any similar laws other states may try to implement. “We will bring these lawsuits whenever and wherever they may come,” said Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, in a conference call Monday.

While Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer claimed victory in the court’s decision, she was already bracing Monday for further lawsuits. The ruling “does not mark the end of our journey,” she said in a press release. “Our critics are already preparing new litigation tactics in response to their loss at the Supreme Court,” Brewer said.

Romero said the court “kicked the can down the road” by leaving room for the remaining provision of SB 1070 to be decided at a lower-level court. But the ACLU said it is prepared to fight at the U.S. District Court in Arizona. “We are moving forward with our existing lawsuit,” said Alessandra Soler, spokeswoman for ACLU Arizona. “We will demonstrate to the court that it is impossible to pursue without racial profiling.”

That case should move more quickly now that the high court has released its decision.

The Supreme Court did not address the constitutionality of the “papers, please” section, saying it was not ruling out the possibility of “other pre-emption and constitutional challenges to the law…as applied after it goes into effect.”

Brewer insisted that the law will be enforced properly and that police officers have been trained regarding its implementation for the past two years.

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