ACLU uses profiling charges against police to target Arizona’s illegal immigrant law

In a coordinated legal blitz against one of the nation’s toughest anti-immigration statutes, the ACLU of Arizona last week accused the Tucson Police Department of violating protections included in the law, arguing that officers last year conducted an illegal stop of two men sitting in a van just because they were Hispanic.

It’s the second such charge lodged by the American Civil Liberties Union, which is trying to build a case that the state’s immigration law, known as SB 1070 and upheld in principle by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012, is being applied in an unconstitutional manner.

In the latest case, the ACLU says Tucson police followed then stopped two men in a van. The ACLU says police demanded to know where the two men were from, accused them of being from Mexico and, after holding them for 30 minutes at the spot, turned them over to U.S. Border Patrol.

“This is racial profiling, pure and simple,” said Christine P. Sun, an ACLU attorney.

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