Governor, Sheriff Defend Immigration Law

PHOENIX (CN) – Arizona’s governor and Sheriff Joe Arpaio seek dismissal of a federal class action challenging the state’s new immigration law. Gov. Jan Brewer and “America’s Toughest Sheriff” claim the complaint from the ACLU, NAACP and others lacks factual basis to show that members will racially profiled when the law is enforced.

     Arpaio’s motion for dismissal claims that federal law does not preempt the state’s immigration law, since the state law does not “replace federal immigration law, but creates state law which mirrors the federal law, thus enabling state and local law enforcement to meaningfully cooperate with federal law enforcement.”
     Arpaio, sheriff of Maricopa County, calls himself America’s Toughest Sheriff. He claims that class action status is inappropriate since whether S.B. 1070 is declared unconstitutional or constitutional, “it will be so for everyone, not just ‘class members.'”
     Arpaio claims the plaintiffs “merely speculate in the abstract about potential future harm” and do not provide evidence to show they will or have suffered racial profiling or “disproportionate” behavior.
     Arpaio says that before addressing such claims, “the court must know the details of the actual police practices employed in the enforcement of SB 1070 by each law enforcement agency in Arizona.”
     Brewer’s motion for dismissal says that the class’s claims that they fear they will be stopped because of their appearance, language or speaking style, are unfounded. Brewer says the law “expressly prohibits” racial profiling and “may not consider race, color or national origin in implementing the requirements of this subsection except to the extent permitted by the United States or Arizona Constitution.”
     But the plaintiffs, the Service Employees International Union, claims its members “will be fearful to attend rallies, demonstrations, and union meetings or to engage in leafleting or other traditional labor activities because of the possibility of being stopped by the police under SB 1070.”
     Brewer insists the plaintiffs have only a “subjective chill” instead of an “objectively justified fear of real consequences that their members will be arrested or detained by the police based on their expressions of speech.”
     The federal class action claims that Arizona’s immigration law “will cause widespread racial profiling and will subject many persons of color … to unlawful interrogations, searches, seizures and arrests.”
     The law, scheduled to take effect July 29, requires state and local police to enforce immigration laws and allows them to search vehicles without warrant if an officer has a reasonable suspicion that occupants do not have immigration papers. It also makes hiring day laborers a misdemeanor if the driver or worker blocks the flow of traffic.
     Brewer is represented by John J. Bouma with Snell & Wilmer.
     Pinal County Attorney James P. Walsh and Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu also filed a motion to dismiss.
     At least five lawsuits have challenged the law since Brewer signed it in April.

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