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Was SB1070 racially motivated by Russell Pearce?

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona acquired thousands of Pearce e-mails through a public-records request and included dozens of them in a legal motion to block a portion of the law.

The e-mails from Pearce in the court documents include statements such as: “Can we maintain our social fabric as a nation with Spanish fighting English for dominance? … It’s like importing leper colonies and hope we don’t catch leprosy. It’s like importing thousands of Islamic jihadists and hope they adapt to the American Dream.”

They also include unsupported statistics such as “9,000 people killed every year by illegal aliens,” and “the illegal aliens in the United States have a crime rate that’s two-and-a-half times that of non-illegal aliens.”

The ACLU is part of a coalition of individuals, non-profit organizations and other immigrant-rights groups that filed its own legal challenge of SB 1070. They hope to use the e-mails to show a pattern of discrimination that, they believe, was Pearce’s motivation for SB 1070 and thus prove that it violates the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

If they are successful in showing a pattern of discrimination, it could help persuade the courts to overturn the law, legal experts say. It could also prove fatal for Pearce’s state Senate election comeback bid.

Pearce did not return calls seeking comment.

via SB 1070 opponents blast Pearce e-mails.