Sunday, September 27, 2020

Donors Contribute $500,000 to Defend Arizona Anti-immigration Law

A fund created by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to defend the state’s anti-immigration law grew to nearly $500,000 in the days following the announcement of a federal lawsuit.

Established by an executive order on May 26, the Governor’s Border Security and Immigration Legal Defense Fund had received well over half of nearly 10,000 online donations in the three days since the government filed suit in Phoenix.

Most of the donations were in the sum of $100 or less, and came from residents from all over the country including many retirees according to a review of documents obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday.

Many of the donors contacted by the AP claimed they made the decision to contribute because they felt the federal government should not be suing Arizona and instead helping them.

Houston resident Howard E. Sanner said, “It’s just a mess that has to be straightened out.” The retired clothing and linen salesman donated $5 to the fund.

All donors are required to identify themselves if they wish to make a donation online which has a set minimum of $5 and no maximum.  The donations have ranged from $5 to $2000.

With the state already facing six lawsuits related to the law, including one by MALDEF as previously reported by La Plaza, the total cost to the state in defending the legislation remains unknown.

Taxpayers have no answers to how much their state will pay the Phoenix-based law firm Gov. Brewer hired to represent the state.  A managing partner at the firm, Snell & Wilmer, cited attorney-client confidentiality in declining to estimate how much his firm’s work would cost.

The anti-immigration law, which is set to take effect on July 29, would require law enforcement officials to question the legal status of a person they “reasonably” suspect to be in the country illegally while enforcing another law.  Controversy over racial profiling, particularly in the Latino community has followed.

The federal lawsuit filed on Tuesday in Phoenix calls the anti-immigration law unconstitutional and asks that a federal judge strike it down.

Washington Post

MALDEF