PHOENIX — Two immigration reform groups want a federal judge to reconsider
a decision to allow opponents of Arizona’s immigration law access to letters,
emails and memos between lawmakers and the bill’s supporters.
U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton last month rejected an argument that the
communications were confidential but hasn’t set a deadline for turning them
Challengers also want to see similar correspondence between Arizona legislators
and SB1070 supporters that led to the creation of earlier immigration measures
in the state Legislature in 2008 through 2010.
Opponents say they want to see if the messages contain any racial overtones.
Gov. Jan Brewer signed Senate Bill 1070 into law in 2010. It contained several
measures intended to give local law enforcement more power to detain people who
were in the country illegally.
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down sections of the law in 2012, including the
requirement that immigrants obtain or carry immigration registration papers.
Attorneys for the Federation for American Immigration Reform and the
Immigration Reform Law Institute filed a motion Dec. 26 for Bolton to reconsider
her order, which applies to emails, letters and memos from the two groups to
legislators and also replies.
Plaintiffs issued subpoenas for “all communications” between the two groups
and “any Arizona state official” since Jan. 1, 2005, that contained the terms
“immigrant,” “illegals,” “undocumented,” “day laborer,” “Hispanic,”
“Mexican” and others.
Bolton said there’s nothing in the law “that protects from public view
communications with public officials in their official capacity about a matter
of public concern.”
“Indeed, Arizona law makes all such communications available to the public
under its freedom of information law,” Bolton wrote in her Dec. 11 ruling.