HIAS Joins Brief Urging Supreme Court to Overturn Arizona's Anti-Immigrant Law

Posted on Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 15:32 pm

(New York, NY) – In advance of the Supreme Court’s consideration of Arizona’s controversial immigration law (SB-1070) next month, HIAS, the global migration agency of the American Jewish community, has signed on to an amicus curiae brief submitted today urging the Court to strike down the law. More than 100 faith-based, community, and civil rights groups joined the brief.

Under Arizona's law, local law enforcement officers are required to obtain proof of legal status from anyone whom they stop and "suspect" is in the country illegally. Anyone suspected of being undocumented could potentially become a target of investigation and harassment. Entire communities are living in fear. States across the country have enacted similar legislation, with the goal of making communities so unwelcoming that undocumented immigrants have no choice but to leave.

According to the brief, “If the enjoined provisions of S.B. 1070 are allowed to go into effect, they will work harms on individuals who would not suffer such harms under the federal immigration scheme. Although purportedly targeting ‘unlawfully present’ immigrants, S.B. 1070 will dramatically harm the lives of U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (“LPRs”), and other individuals across a spectrum of immigration statuses—such as asylum seekers and victims of violent crimes—in ways that run counter to the federal immigration scheme.”

According to Gideon Aronoff, HIAS President and CEO, “Throughout our history, Jews have been considered strangers and outsiders in their communities, and we know too well the pain of living in fear. We know that racial profiling incites feelings of helplessness, frustration, anxiety, and anger for innocent victims. As a nation founded by and for immigrants, we must provide a hospitable legal framework for today's immigrants to arrive and integrate.”

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case on April 25, 2012.