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Clergy group files first suit against S1070

A national group of Latino clergy leaders filed the first lawsuit against S1070 on April 29, arguing that it infringes on the federal government’s right to enforce illegal immigration laws and will lead to racial profiling against Hispanics.

Rep. Ben Miranda, an attorney who is representing the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders, announced the suit in front of the Sandra Day O’Connor United States Courthouse. The suit was filed on behalf of a handful of Hispanic plaintiffs who say they will be negatively affected by S1070, including a man whose business caters primarily to Hispanic customers, a pastor who owns three Spanish language radio stations, and an undocumented immigrant with U.S.-born children.

“There have always been court decisions after court decisions that have reaffirmed that the regulation of immigration belongs exclusively the federal government,” Miranda said. “The basis is that, in conjunction with the racial profiling aspect.”

Miranda said they would ask courts for an injunction against S1070, which is scheduled to go into effect 90 days after the legislative session ends.

Shortly afterward, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the National Immigration Law Center announced that they would also file suit against S1070 on similar grounds.

Representatives of the groups said they had no timetable for when they would file the lawsuit, but said it would be before the 90-day period ends. Speakers at the group’s rally, which was attended by dozens of supporters, included civil rights icon Dolores Huerta and country music star Linda Ronstadt.

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