Litzy Medina waits waits to join a march through downtown to protest Arizona’s controversial immigration law SB1070 on May 29, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Emails show racial bias in immigration law, says ACLU

PHOENIX (AP) — Opponents of Arizona’s hardline immigration enforcement law contend that emails sent, received and forwarded by a former legislator who championed the law support allegations it was racially motivated.

Dozens of emails are cited in a new legal effort by the American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups to block police from enforcing the Arizona law’s so-called “show me your papers” provision recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The groups said the emails and other material reveal that ex-Sen. Russell Pearce and other supporters of the law known as SB1070 embraced discriminatory views and bent the truth about immigration-related matters, setting the stage for enactment of a law that the groups contend will lead to racial profiling if enforced.

Russell is the architect of Arizona’s immigration law.

The use of the emails in the court filing later Tuesday was reported Friday by The Arizona Republic ( ).

Pearce on Friday denied discriminatory intent in championing the law, telling The Associated Press that the civil rights groups falsely portray him as a racist and that the law includes protections against racial profiling.

“Nobody wants to talk about that,” he said. “I’ve been attacked for years. I don’t expect it to stop.”

The motion cited dozens of emails that were sent, received or forwarded by Pearce. Many of the emails asserted costs and troubles associated with illegal immigration, including crime and increased demand for public services such as education and health care.

Pearce has made countless public statements to that effect in recent years, while repeatedly saying he just wants federal and state officials to enforce laws against illegal immigration.

In one article forwarded by Pearce from one of his email accounts to another in 2006, a commentator spoke of the United States “facing an overwhelming illegal alien invasion” in which Hispanic illegal immigrants were “arrogantly corrupting our unifying national language while actively disrespecting our culture, society and country.”

A 2007 email sent from Pearce’s legislative email account to a personal Pearce account said illegal immigration of Spanish-speakers puts the country’s status as an English-speaking country at risk.

“It’s like importing leper colonies and hope we don’t catch leprosy,” the email stated. “It’s like importing thousands of Islamic jihadists and hope they adapt to the American dream.”

The five-page email contained multiple references to conditions in Arizona, but Pearce said the leprosy reference was from material written by a man in Colorado.

“I forward a lot of his stuff. Much of it is right on,” Pearce said.

The Arizona law’s so-called “papers” provision requires police to check the immigration status of people they stop for other reasons if there is reasonable suspicion the people are in the country illegally.

The high court on June 25 rejected the Obama administration’s argument that the provision was unconstitutional because federal law trumps state law. But the civil rights group now argues that it should be blocked because Latinos in Arizona would face systematic racial profiling and unreasonably long detentions.

The civil rights groups’ motion argues that discriminatory intent by legislative supporters of the law would help prove that it violates the Constitution’s right to equal protection under the law.

Jack Chin, a University of California-Davis law school professor, said courts typically are more interested in details of laws or their enforcement, and that legislative emails and questionable claims of fact have limited value as evidence.

“If we’re talking about the bad views of one legislator, even an important legislator, that’s going to be a hard sell because the majority of legislators who voted for the thing might not have been racially motivated,” Chin said.

A spokesman for Gov. Jan Brewer said the groups’ arguments are a smoke screen that won’t succeed in court.

“By focusing upon an individual legislator’s emails, they intend to divert focus from SB1070’s simple, common-sense language — language that the overwhelming majority of Arizonans and Americans support, and language that the Supreme Court unanimously upheld,” said Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson.

Pearce was Arizona Senate president when he was ousted from the Legislature after losing a November 2011 recall election. He is running for re-election to the state Senate.


  1. Ffe says:

    Hispanics share a lot of the responsibility for ignorant European Americans and their total ignorance of the fact that Spanish PRE DATES English in America and that Spanish language and culture was here first before English.The oldest city in America was the Spanish speaking Spanish owned city of St. Augustine Florida. When Columbus sailing for Spain with an all Spanish speaking crew first landed in the Americas he named the land Hispanola meaning belonging to and of Spain and thus Hispanics were born in the Americas a full century before the arrival of the English in Plymouth FACT. The oldest city in America west of the Mississippi was Sante Fe NEW MEXICO yes New MEXICO California was Mexican before it was American I could go on and on. The ignorant Euro is just like the schoolyard bully acting out of insecurity and hiding behind racist rantings to cover their own inadequacy Hiispanics teach your children the truth about your history and stand up to the bully.Hispanics ARE the history and beginnings of America . Claim your birthright

  2. Dave Francis says:


    To stop the smothering of America, free from Democratic and Republican dominance, then vote into office as many TEA PARTY candidates as you can? That’s all there is to it? By flooding the Senate and House of Representative, we will have a legitimate people’s party although it’s still part of the GOP. We must oust the Liberal Socialist “Tax and spend’ government, which currently have an agreement with Mexico in giving illegal aliens access to food stamps. Tell me would you want to go home, if you were encouraged to collect citizen’s welfare programs. Out with all those political party members that steal your dollars every year, to pay for wars and insure that the U.S. tax system remains the same, so that the friends and those entities who donate to campaign have pay little or no taxes at all. The American people have it in their power, to reject illegal immigration through voting into Congress, people who will not steal from us, reject the secret immigration of cheap labor from India and other locations created by the Republicans.

    Turn the tide of an unceasing Socialist experiment played by the Democrats and Liberals. The TEA PARTY will let free trade succeed, but will sanction countries as China who are manipulating their currency and cheating us. We cannot trust the Democrats who remain deliberately unconcerned with non-citizens voting. Both parties refuse to enact mandatory E-Verify (H.R. 2885), to eject illegal aliens from businesses, and a Birthright Citizenship law (H.R. 140), that allows a projected 400.000 babies a year who gain citizenship, without a parent holding U.S. citizenship status. With an unparalleled nationwide recession, the Democrats and Republicans have done nothing to reduce the 16 trillion deficits, that this country is now manacled too. The Democrats would rather harass Arizona, because they are the epicenter of illegal immigrants and migrants fleecing the state’s welfare coffers. Anybody who dares to go against the ultra left intent is relentlessly pursued, such as Sheriff Joe Arpaio, or former Rep. Russell Pierce. Incidentally—this country is a nation of laws, but it they are being calculatingly ENGINEERED to fit whatever issue is current, such as giving a illegal alien a right to become an attorney. THIS IS SERIOUSLY WRONG.

    Then we have California, a state labeled as a ‘Sanctuary state’ where illegal aliens are shielded from ICE agents. Never mind the Golden state is now tarnished with a $15.9 billion deficit and climbing, with Nevada following closely. This is not saying that any of the 50 states is not also in financial trouble as very few states are solvent. Over a hundred billion dollars ($ plus) is being “OKAYED” by politicians for foreign nationals, when we cannot even look after their citizens and permanent residents. Individual states have been forced by court unfunded mandates, to enact their laws, otherwise they would be overrun by economic illegal aliens. Investigate federal, state and county elected officials and vote them to the garbage dump, as they are not doing the people’s bidding. Surf the internet and use key words such as ‘Voter Fraud’ illegal immigration costs, sanctuary cities and every issue you can imagine. Join a local TEA PARTY or even survey the ideologies of the party, then you decide who’s best for the job of getting us out of this financial mess. Americans must kill big government, with hundreds of thousands of more workers to provide Obama care.

    Would any citizen ever have thought that they would be victimized, to pay for illegal foreigner’s health care? Why isn’t Mexico, a very rich resource country paying for their own people, instead of loading their poor on us? Why is any foreign nation driving their impoverished here, is it because of this NAFTA agreement. Hundreds of thousands of people from South of our border, were forced to enter our lands because the American businesses took their lands. Yet the Obama administration could alleviate much of the hurt, by adjoining with the Republicans to start opening up oil and natural gas locations. Reopen the coal mines and making America once again a credit nation and not owing the world’s investor’s money. Time is running out and our only chance to relinquish the steel hold of both parties is too vote for the Constitutional TEA PARTY leadership. They cannot stop the TEA PARTY people now as there are too many of us and still propagating. THE TEA PARTY has a long memory and those who have done this country wrong, will be remembered after this NOVEMBER.


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