Arizona Migrant Group Seeks to Preserve Injunction Against Provisions of Two Arizona Statutes Used to Criminalize Immigrant Workers

For Immediate Release
May 17, 2016
Contacts: Carlos Garcia, Puente,, (520) 248-1697 Annie Lai, UC Irvine School of Law,, (914) 329-8412 Steve Kilar, ACLU of Arizona,, (602) 773-6007

Phoenix, Arizona – Yesterday, Plaintiffs in Puente vs. Arpaio asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a May 2 decision which overturned a preliminary injunction issued last year barring Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery from enforcing provisions of Arizona law that criminalize migrants for working to provide for their families. The Petition argues that the decision by a three-judge panel conflicts with other Ninth Circuit and Supreme Court cases, and should either be reconsidered by the panel or reheard by a larger number of judges.

Carlos Garcia, Executive Director of Puente Arizona, a lead plaintiff in the case, said: “Sheriff Arpaio and County Attorney Bill Montgomery must not be allowed to burden migrants with felony convictions for working to provide for their families. We have been politically scapegoated and dehumanized for long enough. These laws are cruel and unjust and we will not stop fighting until we know that our community is safe.”

“Arizona’s effort to recast its identity theft laws as an immigration enforcement tool was unconstitutional from the start,” said Annie Lai of the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. “We are asking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to review its May 2 decision and restore the carefully considered order of the District Court from January 2015 that brought an end to the seven-year campaign of raids. Anything else would be a grave deviation from existing law and could compromise future litigants’ ability to turn to the courts for the protection of constitutional rights.”

The case concerns provisions of two Arizona statutes passed in 2007 and 2008 as part of Arizona’s “attrition through enforcement” immigration platform designed to make life so miserable for migrants that they would self deport. In January 2015, District Court Judge David Campbell enjoined enforcement of the statutes during the pendency of the suit. The filing of yesterday’s petition means that the District Court’s injunction will remain in place until a decision can be made by the Court of Appeals.

Plaintiffs in the case include Puente, workers affected by the raids, and several faith leaders who reside in Maricopa County and object to the use of their tax dollars to finance the raids. The plaintiffs are represented by the University of California, Irvine School of Law Immigrant Rights Clinic, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), the ACLU of Arizona, Hadsell Stormer & Renick LLP, Quarles & Brady LLP and attorney Ray Ybarra Maldonado.

The Plaintiffs’ petition for rehearing, as well as the Ninth Circuit decision and the United States’ amicus brief filed on March 18, are available, here.


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