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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Before Supreme Court hearings, ACLU of Florida slams Bondi support of Arizona immigration law

24

April

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida slammed Attorney General Pam Bondi Tuesday for supporting an Arizona law the group says unfairly targets immigrants and encourages racial profiling.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments tomorrow on the law, which among other things, requires police officers to verify the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being undocumented.

"As Florida’s principal legal officer, the attorney general should know that racial profiling is bad policing, and that it drives an unnecessary wedge between law enforcement and the communities it protects," said ACLU of Florida director Howard Simon in a prepared statement.

Bondi, alongside 15 attorneys general from other states, signed a legal brief in support of the law in February.

She defended her decision Tuesday as a matter of "state's rights," but said Florida is not identical to Arizona and doesn't necessarily warrant the same policies.

"I'm not saying it's right or wrong for Florida," she said, adding that Arizona should be permitted to protect its own borders if the federal government falls short.

The American Civil Liberties Union, The National Immigration Law Center and several other groups sued the state of Arizona in 2011. The U.S. government also filed a suit.

Certain provisions of the law have been struck down by lower courts but the entire law is now before the Supreme Court.

@Britt_alana

[Last modified: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 4:43pm]

    

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