Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Arizona's SB 1070 Day Laborer Solicitation Provisions Enjoined

Even after the Supreme Court decision invalidating core provisions of Arizona's immigration enforcement law known as SB 1070, the law continues to be taking a beating in the courts.  Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Valle del Sol Inc. v. Whiting , in an opinion by Judge Fisher (and joined by Judges Tallman and Callahan) affirmed the district court’s grant of a preliminary injunction barring the enforcement of two provisions in Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070, which make it unlawful for a motor vehicle occupant to hire or attempt to hire a person for work at another location from a stopped car that impedes traffic, or for a person to be hired in such a manner. The panel held that the district court correctly determined that, though Arizona has a significant government interest in promoting traffic safety, the day labor provisions failed the requirement set forth in Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. v. Public Service Commission of New York, 447 U.S. 557, 566 (1980), that restrictions on commercial speech be no more extensive than necessary to serve that interest. The panel held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits and that the other requirements for a preliminary injunction were satisfied.

Here are portions of the press release from MALDEF, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, about its victory in the case:

Today the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals determined that the provisions of SB 1070, Arizona’s anti-immigrant racial profiling law, that seek to criminalize the solicitation of day labor work, should remain blocked. The court held that the provisions likely violate day laborers’ First Amendment free speech right to solicit work on public streets.

Today’s opinion reaffirms that the freedom to speak in seeking work is a constitutionally protected right. The decision also recognizes that the explicit intent of the anti-day labor provisions of SB 1070 is to drive immigrants from the state of Arizona – not, as the state had argued in court, to preserve traffic safety.


Plaintiffs’ attorneys include a coalition of civil rights organizations that have an established a tradition of fighting to protect first amendment rights for all members of society and have been at the forefront of the battle to challenge all of the discriminatory and unconstitutional provisions in SB 1070. MALDEF, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), ACLU, and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) represent labor, domestic violence, day laborer, human services and social justice organizations, including Service Employees International Union (SEIU), SEIU Local 5, United Food and Commercial Workers International (UFCW), Arizona South Asians for Safe Families (ASAFSF), Southside Presbyterian Church, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Asian Chamber of Commerce of Arizona, Border Action Network, Tonatierra Community Development Institute, Muslim American Society, Japanese American Citizens League, Valle de Sol, Inc. and Coalicion de Derechos Humanos.



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