ACLU: Emails Show Racial Bias in Immigration Law
Opponents of Arizona’s hardline immigration enforcement law contend that emails sent, received and forwarded by a former legislator who championed the law support allegations it was racially motivated.
Dozens of emails are cited in a new legal effort by the American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups to block police from enforcing the Arizona law’s so-called “show me your papers” provision recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The groups said the emails and other material reveal that ex-Sen. Russell Pearce and other supporters of the law known as SB1070 embraced discriminatory views and bent the truth about immigration-related matters, setting the stage for enactment of a law that the groups contend will lead to racial profiling if enforced.
Russell is the architect of Arizona’s immigration law.
The use of the emails in the court filing later Tuesday was reported Friday by The Arizona Republic (bit.ly ).
Pearce on Friday denied discriminatory intent in championing the law, telling The Associated Press that the civil rights groups falsely portray him as a racist and that the law includes protections against racial profiling.
“Nobody wants to talk about that,” he said. “I’ve been attacked for years. I don’t expect it to stop.”
The motion cited dozens of emails that were sent, received or forwarded by Pearce. Many of the emails asserted costs and troubles associated with illegal immigration, including crime and increased demand for public services such as education and health care.