Update: On June 25, 2012, the Supreme Court struck down major sections of the Arizona law, while leaving one troubling provision in place. More
New York, NY, April 25, 2012 … As the Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in a challenge to Arizona's harsh anti-immigration law, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) urged a U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittee to re-examine comprehensive immigration reform that would make restrictive laws like Arizona's irrelevant.
ADL submitted testimony to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security this week and previously filed an amicus brief urging the Court to find the Arizona law unconstitutional. In its testimony, the League reiterated concerns that Arizona's harsh anti-immigration law would unwisely compel local law enforcement to implement federal immigration law, thereby undermining essential state and federal hate crimes legislation.
Robert G. Sugarman, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
We call upon Congress to pass much needed immigration reform that would make harsh anti-immigration laws like Arizona's irrelevant.
When fear is invoked by discriminatory state immigration laws, it is likely that these laws will have an impact on the reporting of criminal activity in immigrant communities, thus impeding the ability of law enforcement to serve their communities to the fullest extent.
In particular, these laws may deter Hispanics or Latinos – whether documented or undocumented – from reporting or serving as witnesses to criminal activities, including hate crimes, in the community for fear that it will result in their or others' arrest or deportation.
Effective law enforcement is important to everyone, but harsh immigration laws and policies that divide communities, inflame fear, foster mistrust and violate human rights undermine both our nation's core values and our security. If well-ordered liberty means anything, it must mean that all persons should be afforded access to police protection if they become victims of hate crimes.
The best way of having to avoid this difficult situation is for Congress to pass much needed, comprehensive immigration reform.
The League's brief in support of a preliminary injunction against Arizona's law was filed in part because of the irreparable damage the law would cause to law enforcement's ability to protect the people of Arizona from hate crimes. It was prepared with the assistance of David J. Bodney and Peter S. Kozinets of the Phoenix office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.
ADL has filed similar briefs with federal courts in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Utah.