Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Rules that Arizona Immigration Law Violates First Amendment Rights

Communication between day laborers and those who hire them is protected

Media Contact: Candice Francis / Communications Director, LCCR /  415.543.9697 x216 /
(San Francisco, CA) – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled yesterday that two provisions of Arizona’s draconian immigration law, SB 1070, should remain blocked. The Court determined that enforcement of these provisions would restrict and penalize commercial speech of day laborers and those who hire them. The decision relied extensively on the Court’s earlier decision in Comite de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach v. City of Redondo Beach, 657 F.3d 936 (9th Cir. 2011) (en banc), where the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR) and co-counsel Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) argued successfully that restrictions on roadside solicitation violate the First Amendment.
“The Lawyers’ Committee applauds this ruling by the Ninth Circuit,” said Oren Sellstrom, Legal Director at the Lawyers’ Committee. “Arizona’s attempt to falsely claim that these provisions were traffic safety measures was transparent. We are pleased that the court recognized the state was simply trying to silence laborers who seek to obtain wages needed for basic survival.”
“The implicit bias underlying SB 1070 and the day laborer provisions in particular has been clear from the beginning. Arizona has made blanket assumptions about the legal status of day laborers and sought to use the suppression of speech and other tactics to pressure these individuals to leave the state.” added Robin Goldfaden, Senior Attorney for Immigrant Justice at the Lawyers’ Committee. “We will continue to monitor and oppose all attempts to criminalize immigrants and those who are perceived to be immigrants based on skin color and unfounded assumptions about who is an American.”