FLORENCE, Ariz. — A judge has once again denied a request by two
immigration-policy groups that sought to block subpoenas for all communications
between the groups and state officials as the Arizona Legislature considered the
state’s landmark 2010 immigration law.
U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton on Friday denied a request by the Federation
for American Immigration Reform and Immigration Reform Law Institute to
reconsider her December decision that grants lawyers who are challenging the law
access to the documents.
The challengers say they want access to letters, emails and memos between
lawmakers and advocates for tougher immigration enforcement to see why
proponents of the law believed it needed to be passed. They also are seeking
documents to back up their claim that the law was passed with a discriminatory
One of the subpoenas in question requested all communications between the two
groups and any state official since January that contained the terms
“immigrant,” “undocumented,” “day laborer,” “Hispanic,” “Mexican” and
The judge rejected the groups’ arguments that the communications were protected
by attorney-client privilege, saying there was no evidence that the groups had
such a relationship with state lawmakers.
“They have to comply with the subpoena,” said Karen Tumlin, one of the
attorneys pushing the challenge to the law.
Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said
the ruling interferes with the ability of private citizens to communicate with
policy makers. “This is just a fishing expedition, and it shouldn’t be
allowed,” Stein said.
Stein said the groups haven’t yet decided whether they would appeal Bolton’s
In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law’s most contentious section that
that required police, while enforcing other laws, to question people’s
immigration status if they’re believed to be in the country illegally. The
nation’s highest court struck down other sections of the law, such as a
requirement that immigrants obtain or carry immigration registration papers.