FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kelly Ceballos
June 14, 2010 202-263-1331


LEAGUE OPPOSES STATE LAWS SURPRESSING CIVIL RIGHTS
League of Women Voters Announces Opposition to Arizona Immigration Law

Washington, DC – Today, Flag Day, the League of Women Voters of the U.S. (LWVUS) and the League of Women Voters of Arizona (LWVAZ) announced strong opposition to the immigration measure recently passed by the Arizona legislature and signed by the governor that could cause law enforcement officials to target racial and ethnic minorities unfairly.

“The struggle for fairness and equality has been long and hard; it is very disappointing when a state legislature and governor turn their backs on fundamental civil rights,” said national League president Mary Wilson.  “The inevitable result of this law is that ‘equal justice under law’ will be undermined,” she said. 

Whenever an officer stops, detains or arrests an individual in Arizona, the new law requires the officer to check a person’s legal status if the officer has a “reasonable suspicion” that the detained person is illegal.  However, the law is vague about what constitutes what “reasonable suspicion,” raising the concern about fair and equal enforcement.

Bonnie Saunders, president of LWVAZ said:  “On the surface, many of the elements of this law might seem reasonable, but taken as a whole, the law undermines the basic values that we stand for in Arizona.”

“Today, as we celebrate Flag Day, the League of Women Voters celebrates the American dream – the dream that every person will receive equal justice under law,” the two presidents said.  “Arizona needs to change its law to make it conform to fundamental American values,” they concluded.

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 The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Membership in the League is open to men and women of all ages. With more than 88 years of experience and 850 local and state affiliates, the League is one of America’s most trusted grassroots organizations.