Opponents of Arizona’s hardline immigration enforcement law are using emails sent by a former state senator who championed the law to support allegations it was racially motivated.
The American Civil Liberties Union obtained thousands of Russell Pearce’s emails through a public records request.
They’re part of a new legal effort by civil rights groups to block police from enforcing the Arizona law’s so-called “show me your papers” provision recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Arizona Republic reports that the emails blur lines between illegal immigrants and Hispanics in general. The ACLU says the emails show a striking hostility toward the Hispanic population.
A spokesman for Gov. Jan Brewer says the arguments won’t succeed in court.
Pearce on Friday did not immediately return messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.