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Asian American groups applaud ruling on Arizona anti-immigrant law

SAN FRANCISCO – Members of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice applaud today’s ruling by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a district court decision blocking implementation of some of the most egregious provisions of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, SB 1070.

“This decision affirms that states cannot pass their own immigration schemes targeting immigrants,” said Yungsuhn Park, staff attorney at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC). “Arizona’s SB 1070 and other similar state laws are unconstitutional and wrongfully result in the isolation and intimidation of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, Latinos and other communities of color.”

The ruling by the three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit is in USA v. Arizona, the lawsuit initiated by the United States Department of Justice, which argued that SB 1070 is preempted by federal law.

“In affirming the lower court’s decision, the Ninth Circuit has made clear that only the federal government has the authority to formulate immigration laws and make immigration policy.” said Marita Etcubañez, director of programs at the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC). “Today’s decision is an encouraging signal that in the end the courts will find Arizona’s law unconstitutional.”

AAJC and APALC were part of a coalition of civil rights groups, including ACLU, MALDEF, NAACP, National Immigration Law Center, ACLU of Arizona and National Day Laborer Organizing Network, that filed an earlier lawsuit against Arizona to challenge SB 1070. That lawsuit, Friendly House v. Whiting, alleged the law invites racial profiling of people of color, violates the First Amendment, and interferes with federal law.

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