Leaders in the ACLU immigration rights movement — joined by elected officials, faith leaders and Denver activists — will join at the Denver City County Building May 10 to welcome the ACLU "Estamos Unidos" bus tour and call attention to unjust anti-immigrant policy.
The ACLU is fighting back against anti-immigrant laws inspired by Arizona’s notorious SB 1070 through impact litigation and legislative advocacy. Arizona’s enactment of SB 1070 set off a number of copycat attempts in states across the country in 2011. There are now five states — Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah — that have passed Arizona copycat laws.
The ACLU and other civil rights groups have filed lawsuits challenging the six laws. The Department of Justice has also filed lawsuits challenging Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina and Utah’s anti-immigrant laws. So far, federal courts have blocked major provisions from taking effect in all six states. The constitutionality of the Arizona law is being debated by the U.S. Supreme Court with an opinion expected in mid June.
The ACLU believes these racial profiling laws invite rampant racial profiling against Latinos and others presumed to be "foreign” based on how they look or sound, said Denise Maes, ACLU of Colorado Public Policy Director. "We welcome the bus tour so that we can provide the Denver Metro area with a chance to rally to end these practices and defend families who are being targeted by these laws no matter where they live."
The "Estamos Unidos" tour, which has traveled from California to Arizona, Alabama and other states before reaching Colorado, is designed so that people can receive information on these threats to civil and constitutional rights, sign a petition calling for greater engagement from President Barack Obama, watch videos of people harmed by the policies, and get involved.
"Our hope," Maes said, "is that people will be inspired to continue speaking out in their own communities, in their congregations, in the public square. We must be united so that this assault on basic rights will end."