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ACLU: Arizona No-Bail Law Unfairly Targets Latinos

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At the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, CA, seen in the photo, ACLU and Arizona lawyers argued over the constitutionality of a an Arizona law that denies bail to undocumented immigrants charged with certain felonies. DAVID PAUL MORRIS / AP

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argued Tuesday in a federal appeals court in San Francisco that a voter-approved Arizona law denying bail to undocumented immigrants should be found unconstitutional and struck down. The ACLU argued the result of the law is that Latino immigrants are held in jail before they have been convicted of crimes while other groups are not.

"It's unfair to subject a certain subsection of the population to rules that don't apply to everyone else," said ACLU attorney Cecelia Wang.

Voters approved of the 2006 no-bail law as part of a series of measures against undocumented immigration in the state. The law denies bail to those who have come to the country illegally and have been charged with felonies such as aggravated identity theft, assault or murder. Attorneys for the state said in court it was meant to improve public safety and ensure undocumented immigrants are not a flight risk.

The ACLU argued there is no evidence or data showing that immigrants pose higher flight risks.

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