The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] on Monday filed a class action lawsuit [complaint, PDF; press release] in the US District Court for the District of Arizona [official website] seeking an injunction against the implementation of the recently passed Arizona immigration law [SB 1070 materials; JURIST news archive]. The ACLU is joined in the lawsuit by several other rights groups including the NAACP, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC), and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) [advocacy websites] as well as several individual plaintiffs. The suit is challenging the constitutionality of the law, stating that it violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution [text] as well as the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The complaint specifically states:
It is an impermissible encroachment into an area of exclusive federal authority and will interfere and conflict with the comprehensive federal immigration system enacted by Congress and implemented through a complex web of federal regulations and policies. According to law enforcement officials in Arizona and elsewhere, SB 1070 will cause widespread racial profiling and will subject many persons of color including countless U.S. citizens, and non-citizens who have federal permission to remain in the United States to unlawful interrogations, searches, seizures and arrests.In addition to seeking an injunction against implementation of the bill, the suit is requesting that the entire bill be declared unconstitutional.
Monday's lawsuit joins two others filed [JURIST report] last month challenging the constitutionality of the Arizona law. The bill, signed into law [JURIST report] in April by Governor Jan Brewer, has caused intense controversy. Earlier this month, a group of UN human rights experts indicated the measure may violate international standards [JURIST report] that are binding on the US. Mexican President Felipe Calderon [official website, in Spanish] has strongly criticized [JURIST report] the new law, claiming that it opens the door to intolerance and hatred. US President Barack Obama also criticized the law [JURIST report], and called for federal immigration reform. Under the law, it is designated a crime to be in the country illegally, and immigrants unable to verify their legal status could be arrested and jailed for six months and fined $2,500.