Immigration law base for class action suit

May 18, 2010 at 7:41 AM
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PHOENIX, May 18 (UPI) -- Several civil rights groups filed a lawsuit against Arizona's immigration law, which they say will lead to racial profiling and constitutional violations.

The federal class-action suit filed Monday claims the law, which requires police to ask for documentation of people they suspect of being illegal immigrants, infringes on the federal government's ability to set immigration policy and violates the Constitution's 1st and 4th amendments, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

The lawsuit is at least the fourth filed since Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed the measure into law. The governor's office didn't immediately comment.

"This law is shameful, un-American, it will undermine public safety and it is unconstitutional," said Lucas Guttentag, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, one of the groups that filed the suit. Other plaintiff groups include the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the NAACP and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center.

Individual plaintiffs include a 70-year-old U.S. citizen of Spanish and Chinese descent who claims Arizona police stopped him twice and asked for "papers," a Latino citizen studying at Arizona State University who said a New Mexico driver's license wasn't accepted as proof of citizenship under the law and a Jamaican immigrant who said he was worried that, if he's stopped, police will not accept a photocopy of a judge's order that he be allowed to stay in the country, the only documentation he has that gives him legal status, the Times reported.

Brewer ordered training for all police to racial profiling does not occur.

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