Lambda Legal Joins Groups Urging Supreme Court to Uphold Ruling against Arizona Anti-Immigrant Law
"The LGBT community knows all too well how easily people who are perceived to 'look different' or 'act differently' can be singled out for harassment and persecution."
(New York, March 28, 2012)—Yesterday, Lambda Legal and over 100 civil rights, faith and community organizations – including the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and League of United Latin American Citizens – filed a friend-of-the-court brief in Arizona v. United States, the State of Arizona’s appeal of a federal court decision enjoining key sections of SB1070. The brief argues that SB 1070 will lead to racial profiling, discrimination and anti-immigrant extremism.
"SB 1070, and the copycat laws it has spawned in other states, forces people into the shadows, and will exacerbate the fear and distrust that dissuade many LGBT immigrants and people of color from seeking protection from—or offering to assist—law-enforcement officials,” said Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, Lambda Legal Staff Attorney. "LGBT immigrants and people of color are particularly vulnerable because SB 1070 criminalizes people based on their appearance. The LGBT community knows all too well how easily people who are perceived to 'look different' or 'act different' can be singled out for harassment and persecution. SB 1070 will also deter people from seeking medical care and lifesaving treatment for HIV/AIDS."
Arizona is seeking U.S. Supreme Court review of an injunction against key provisions of SB 1070 granted by the U.S. District Court of Arizona and affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. SB 1070 threatens members of the LGBT community, many of whom already experience, even at the hands of local officials, heightened hostility, harassment and violence based on appearance, mannerisms and other traits. For example, local authorities could use the law to investigate the immigration status of and detain those who may have federal permission to remain in the United States but lack immigration documentation, including some non-citizen members of bi-national same-sex couples and asylum-seekers fleeing persecution on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status. SB 1070 enables police to harass LGBT people and subject them to unwarranted detention. Such wrongful treatment often occurs at the hands of local officials who lack a basic understanding of either sexual orientation or gender identity.
Counsel of record for amici curiae is Nancy Morawetz, the director of New York University School of Law’s Immigrant Rights Clinic, a leading institution in both local and national struggles for immigrant rights. Iván Espinoza-Madrigal, Staff Attorney, is handling this matter for Lambda Legal.
The Amicus brief is located here.
** Espinoza-Madrigal is fluent in Spanish**