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Latinos denounce new Arizona immigration ruling

06 september 2012, 15:49
©REUTERS/Joshua Lott
©REUTERS/Joshua Lott
Immigrant rights activists voiced anger Wednesday after a judge upheld Arizona's right to enforce a so-called "show me your papers" law which critics say will lead to racial profiling of Hispanics, AFP reports.

US District Judge Susan Bolton ruled in favor of the most contested part of a controversial 2010 law, requiring that officers question the immigration status of suspects stopped for other suspected crimes.

The US Supreme Court in June declared most of that law unconstitutional, but allowed state police officers in Arizona, which borders Mexico, to ask people suspected of being illegal immigrants to show identification papers.

Rights groups sought to challenge that in the US District Court, but the judge said they had "not shown that they are likely to succeed on their... challenges to" the Supreme Court opinion.

The American Civil Liberties Union said it would continue to fight the ruling, both in court and by highlighting cases it says abuse the law and amount to racial profiling.

"The ACLU of Arizona will act on the court's message and document racial profiling abuses throughout the state as the first step to guaranteeing equal treatment under the law," said the group's executive director Alessandra Soler.

"Latino members of our community should not be subjected to unlawful stops based on their race or perceived immigration status.

"Once this 'show me your papers' provision goes into effect, racial profiling will become rampant statewide... and we intend to ramp up our reporting and litigation efforts to seek justice on behalf of the victims of police abuse."

About a third of Arizona's 6.6 million residents were not born in the United States, and there are an estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants in the state.

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