30 LGBT and Immigration Groups Call for Reform After Supreme Court Ruling
BY Michelle Garcia
June 26 2012 2:19 PM ET
Thirty HIV/AIDS and LGBT organizations are teaming up with immigration rights activists after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that Arizona's stringent anti-immigrant policies preempted federal law, except for the "show your papers" provision.
The joint statement, signed by groups including Lambda Legal, the Latino Commission on AIDS, and Immigration Equality, condemned the identification provision, because of its "clearly discriminatory" nature. The Arizona law made it illegal for immigrants to be in Arizona without carrying proper identification documents, leading to increased racial profiling. "The court left the door open for advocates to challenge this bad part of the law by showing that it harms people," they wrote.
The groups also expressed support for comprehensive immigration reform that includes LGBT people and their families.
"SB 1070, and the copycat laws it has spawned in other states, exacerbate the fear and distrust that dissuade many LGBT immigrants and LGBT people of color from seeking protection from — or offering to assist — law-enforcement officials," the organizations added. "The fact remains that our nation's immigration system is broken, and we need comprehensive immigration reform that is fair to everyone, and is inclusive of LGBT immigrants and their families. We will work with our allies in the immigrant rights community to make this reform a reality, and call on Congress to move swiftly to correct the flaws riddling the present immigration system and provide a path to legalization for the nation's undocumented immigrants."
SB 1070 was enacted in 2010 and was subsequently challenged by the Obama administration for conflicting with federal policies.
The ruling struck down key parts of SB 1070, which was seen as a harsh anti-immigrant policy, in part because it empowered local police authorities to enforce federal immigration laws. SB 1070 also made it a crime for illegal immigrants to seek work, and it allowed police to arrest both legal and illegal immigrants for having previously committed an offense.