FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PHOENIX– As part of its effort to fight back in the courts against SB1070’s remaining “show me your papers” provision, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona today released a new mobile phone application that allows people to report abuses under the state’s notorious racial profiling law and provides them with legal information in English and Spanish about their rights when interacting with police.
The campaign, which includes a toll-free hot line (1-855-225-8291), an interactive, online map tracking where abuses have taken place and features videos with impacted individuals, is part of a statewide public education campaign launched to collect evidence from individuals who’ve been harmed by SB1070 and to bring new “as-applied” challenges on behalf of wrongfully detained individuals.
“The goal of this campaign is to arm affected individuals with the tools and information they need to stand up for themselves, report abuses, and help us fight back in the courts to get the worst provision of the law struck down,” said ACLU of Arizona Immigrants’ Rights Coordinator Dulce Juarez, who will be training a corps of volunteer students and community leaders to conduct “Know Your Rights” forums in all 15 counties as part of the campaign.
The campaign comes on the heels of a May 24th federal court decision blocking Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s immigration enforcement practices. In that ACLU lawsuit, the judge barred Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies from detaining individuals for prolonged periods to check their immigration status if they were not suspected of violating any state or federal criminal laws. The judge also prohibited deputies from ever considering race when deciding who to stop, detain or question about their immigration status.
“Arpaio’s practices served as a model for SB1070 and they embody everything that is wrong with it,” said Alessandra Soler, executive director of the ACLU of Arizona. “It is frankly impossible to enforce SB1070 without using race or engaging in prolonged detentions, and the decision in the Arpaio litigation sends a strong message to police departments across the state that they cannot hide behind SB1070 and use it as an excuse to violate people’s constitutional rights.”
The ACLU-AZ campaign focuses on documenting the on-the-ground impact of SB1070’s Section 2(B), known as the “show me your papers provision.” Section 2(B) requires local police to contact federal immigration officials to verify individuals’ immigration status. However, in U.S. v. Arizona, the U.S. Supreme Court clearly stated that any attempts to detain individuals for longer than necessary for the purpose of checking their immigration status raise constitutional concerns.
In late June 2012, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed Section 2(B) to go into effect, the ACLU set up a community hotline for affected individuals to report incidents of racial profiling and illegal detentions. Since then, the organization has fielded over 6,000 calls, including calls from individuals with “lawful status” such as deferred action recipients, crime victims and domestic violence survivors, who were detained for prolonged periods of time.
The free phone app, developed by OpenWatch, can be downloaded at:www.acluaz.org/UnitedAgainst1070.