Last week, UFCW International Secretary-Treasurer Esther López issued the following statement in response to the settlement in Valle del Sol vs. Whiting, the landmark case opposing S.B. 1070 in Arizona. S.B. 1070 required Arizona police to determine the immigration status of someone arrested or detained if there was “reasonable suspicion” that they were not in the U.S. legally. The UFCW was a plaintiff in the lawsuit.
“This settlement reinforces the fact that law enforcement all across the United States must be blind to race or national origin. Hard-working people create great value and their rights and pursuit of a better life must be protected. While this legal battle may be over, our vigilance and our fight for equality and justice for all will never cease.”
As a result of this lawsuit, every criminal provision of S.B. 1070 has been gutted. Law enforcement in Arizona cannot detain or arrest someone based on suspected immigration status alone. Where individuals are lawfully stopped or detained, law enforcement cannot prolong a criminal investigation in order to determine immigration status.