Bill suffers from same fatal flaws as SB 1070, could lead to litigation, and would harm Arizona's reputation

March 25, 2016

PHOENIX, AZ - MALDEF and five other legal organizations that advocate for the rights of immigrants sent a letter to Gov. Doug Ducey yesterday explaining the severe legal and policy implications of an unconstitutional, anti-immigrant bill that is moving in the Arizona Legislature.

SB 1377 would impose additional incarceration on certain criminal defendants based on a state-court belief that they have violated specific federal immigration laws, even when they have never been convicted or even prosecuted for any such federal violation. The bill suffers the same unconstitutional defects that brought down key sections of SB 1070.

Not only would this bill lead to likely litigation, it would also force the state to incur millions more in incarceration costs annually, and convey a message to the world, including potential trading partners, that little has changed in Arizona since SB 1070 was approved in 2010.

"For the sake of the community, Arizona should move beyond attacking Latino immigrants, but instead the Legislature appears willing to double down on its ugly, recent history," said Victor Viramontes, MALDEF National Senior Counsel. "The Governor should veto this bill if it gets to his desk."

In addition to MALDEF, the letter is signed by the ACLU of Arizona, the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, which have all been involved in the successful litigation against SB 1070.

SB 1377 has already passed the Arizona Senate. It is still being considered in the House.

Read the letter to Governor Ducey here.

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America" MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund