Thursday, June 20, 2024

Rights Organization Issues Travel Warnings for Arizona

Arizona Watch

Affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union issued travel alerts for the state of Arizona in anticipation of holiday travel and summer vacations.  The warnings inform individuals of their rights should they be stopped by law enforcement.

The ACLU’s actions come in response to Arizona’s controversial new anti-immigration law, SB 1070.  The law ,which is being challenged in court for being unconstitutional , goes into effect later this month and would require police to question the legality of any person they stop if there is “reasonable suspicion” that the person is in the country illegally.  Many argue this is nothing more than the racial profiling of Latinos.

“ACLU affiliates across the country are issuing these alerts because it is imperative that individuals understand their rights before traveling in Arizona,” said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. “Under Arizona’s racial profiling law, people who look ‘foreign’ are more likely to be stopped for minor infractions and then asked for their ‘papers’ if police believe, based on their appearance or accent, that they could be in the country unlawfully. We hope the alerts provide people with some measure of protection from illegal harassment from law enforcement and inform them of their rights should they encounter it.”

The organization has information in both Spanish and English on individual’s rights and what to do if stopped and questioned by the police as well as information about SB1070.

The ACLU joined the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and other organizations in filing a lawsuit to stop the enactment of the new Arizona law.  A hearing on an injunction is expected in the coming weeks.