ACLU: Emails Show Racial Bias Behind SB 1070

By Jude Joffe-Block
July 20, 2012

A Brief History Of SB 1070

More stories, documents & multimedia on the controversial Arizona anti-immigration law.

PHOENIX -- Civil rights advocates released thousands of pages of emails this week they say show racial bias was behind Arizona's tough immigration law. The records could have bearing on whether or not the heart of the law is implemented immediately. 

A 2007 message sent from the email account of former Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce reads "We are much like the Titanic as we inbreed millions of Mexico's poor, the world's poor and we watch our country sink." 

Pearce is credited as the architect of SB 1070. 

Dan Pochoda is an attorney with the ACLU of Arizona, and is part of a civil rights coalition challenging SB 1070. 

"We believe they demonstrate a clear racial animus. We believe the intent of the legislation was to discriminate against Latino, specifically Mexicans, and not enforce the laws in a neutral basis," Pochoda said.

Pearce did not immediately respond to an interview request. This week, the ACLU included dozens of these emails in its request to a federal judge to block the "show me your papers" provision of SB 1070.

While the U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowed the provision to go forward any day now, the civil rights coalition's suit raises new claims that it is discriminatory.