The Arkansas ACLU has issued a warning to people considering travel to Arizona. It says that Arizona officers are already enforcing mandated checks of papers required by a new anti-immigrant law to take effect late in July.
Its warning and advisory on rights and suggestions for behavior if stopped by Arizona cops. Remember, racial profiling is illegal.
ACLU NEWS RELEASE
LITTLE ROCK, June 30, 2010 —In response to civil liberties threats caused by the recent passage
of Arizona’s racial profiling law, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas issued a travel
alert today informing Arkansas residents of their rights when stopped by law enforcement when
traveling in Arizona. The unconstitutional law, known as SB 1070, requires law enforcement
agents to demand "papers" from people they stop who they suspect are not authorized to be in
the U.S. If individuals are unable to prove to officers that they are permitted to be in the U.S.,
they may be subject to warrantless arrest without any probable cause that they have committed
Although the law is not scheduled to go into effect until July 29, the ACLU of Arkansas is
concerned that some law enforcement officers are already beginning to act on provisions of the
law. Moreover, there has been a history of rampant racial profiling by law enforcement in
Arizona, especially in Maricopa County, as well as a stated anti-immigrant policy of “attrition
through enforcement” by Arizona lawmakers meant to create a hostile enough environment for
Latinos and other people of color that they voluntarily leave the state.
“It is critical that Arkansans understand their rights before traveling to Arizona,” said Holly
Dickson, staff Attorney of the ACLU of Arkansas. “Residents of Arkansas need to know that
under this law, people who look ‘foreign’are more likely to be stopped for minor infractions like
having a broken taillight or jaywalking and then asked for their ‘papers’if police believe, just by
looking at them, that they could be in the country unlawfully. Any traveler, including lifelong U.S.
citizens and lawful permanent residents, is at risk of detention until their citizenships status can
In addition to the travel alert, the ACLU has made available in English and Spanish materials on
individuals’ rights if stopped by law enforcement in Arizona or elsewhere as a result of SB 1070 or
for any other reason. The materials include a downloadable card with instructions —applicable in
any state —on coping with vehicle stops and questioning by police, U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement agents or the FBI, as well as a Frequently Asked Questions document
about SB 1070.
“By issuing this advisory and rights information, we are seeking to protect all Arkansans from
illegal harassment from law enforcement and to make sure they know their rights should they
encounter it,” said Ashley Simmons Pagés, immigrants’ rights advocate for the ACLU of Arkansas.
“A good number of Arkansans, immigrants and non-immigrants, fit the racial profile that police
will inevitably use to enforce the law. Unfortunately, it is very possible that Arkansans will
experience racial profiling and unlawful detentions in Arizona as a result of this extreme and
The ACLU and other leading civil rights organizations filed a lawsuit challenging the Arizona law in
May, but until the law is struck down, the ACLU warns that individuals traveling in Arizona must
be aware of their rights if stopped there.
Materials informing individuals of their rights when stopped by law enforcement can be found at:
More information about the Arizona law, including an ACLU video and slide show, can be found
More information about the lawsuit, including information on co-counsel and plaintiffs, can be
found at: www.aclu.org/immigrants-rights-racial-justice/aclu-and-civil-rights-groups-file-legalchallenge-