Arizona Immigration-Law Lawsuit by Latino Clergy Group Includes Undocumented Immigrants on Plaintiff List


Fermin Leon and "Jane Doe 1" are worried about the impact of Arizona's new immigration law and teamed up with the to sue Arizona in a lawsuit filed yesterday.

They're among the dozen individuals claiming, with the religious group, that SB 1070 will mean racial profiling by police, and that the law is already causing intense fear.


The lawsuit's arguments make sense. But Leon, his wife and Doe 1 aren't the most sympathetic of the plaintiffs. They're undocumented immigrants.

Leon, who has two U.S.-born teenagers in school, "has a very successful bakery business that would suffer if this law goes into effect," the lawsuit states.

He's worried police might stop him because of his Latino appearance -- and that if he's stopped, "he could be deported and he would lose his business and his children would have to go to a country that they do not know."

Doe 1 is a 26-year-old Phoenix resident from Mexico who didn't leave the country after her six-month visa expired.

"Since passage of the law, Plaintiff fears going outside as she has already been intimidated by individuals yelling at her to 'go back to your country,'" the suit states. "Plaintiff Jane Doe is aware she is undocumented but is contributing to the U.S. economy by paying her taxes, and spending over 10 hours a week volunteering at her church."

Including undocumented immigrants in the lawsuit adds a farcical element to an another serious subject, but the lawyers helping the group to sue -- former state lawmaker Ben Miranda is one -- are probably just playing a good legal game. We've seen plenty of lawsuits thrown out for lack of legal standing.

And while the nine other individuals suing with the religious group have realistic, believable concerns about 1070, there's no question folks like Leon and Doe 1 stand to lose under the law.

Lawsuit follows:

Latino Clergy Lawsuit

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.