Federal Judge Allows For Release Of SB 1070 Documents And Emails

January 02, 2014

A federal judge is allowing challengers to the state’s immigration law, SB 1070, to see what advice advocacy groups are giving state lawmakers. While some provisions of the law have been struck down, the Supreme Court says the one requiring police to question those they stop about their immigration status, if there’s reason to believe they’re in the country illegally, is constitutional.

But Victor Viramontes of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund says the question of equal protection remains open.

He says that requires challengers to show the real purpose of SB 1070 is discriminatory.  Viramontes says one way to do it is to show what kind of advice lawmakers are getting from groups like the Federation for American Immigration Reform and the Immigration Reform Law Institute.

“Here you have prominent proponents of SB 1070 talking to each other,” Viramontes said. “You have the legislators talking to anti-immigrant advocates, and we would like to know what they said to each other. Particularly we want to know if they said anything about Latinos or people of Mexican ancestry.”

Judge Susan Bolton has rejected claims by lawyers for both groups that having to surrender their documents and emails would interfere with their First Amendment rights to communicate with lawmakers. And she dismissed claims that there was an attorney-client relationship with the legislators, saying the groups were providing policy and not legal advice.