Advancing Justice - LA has stood in solidarity with our civil rights partners to challenge unjust laws that target immigrants and communities of color. In 1994, Advancing Justice - LA participated in a constitutional challenge to California's Proposition 187, which barred undocumented immigrants from receiving a wide range of public services. This case, led by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the ACLU, resulted in a federal district court invalidating Proposition 187.
In 1996, Advancing Justice - LA supported a constitutional challenge to California's Proposition 209, which prohibits the consideration of race or ethnicity in state contracting, state education and state employment. Although Proposition 209 withstood this challenge, Advancing Justice - LA has remained committed to supporting race-conscious policies in public institutions throughout the country.
Advancing Justice - LA has also been committed to fighting for equal marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples. In 2007, Advancing Justice - LA led a coalition of 60 Asian American organizations in filing an amicus brief in support of marriage equality before the California Supreme Court in In re Marriage Cases. The Court held that gays and lesbians have a fundamental right to marry and that a statutory ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. However, after this Supreme Court decision, California voters passed Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry. Advancing Justice - LA filed an amicus brief with other civil rights partners challenging the legality of Prop 8. Since that time Advancing Justice - LA has continued to advocate for marriage equality for gays and lesbians through legal advocacy and community education.
In 2010, Advancing Justice - LA partnered with other leading civil rights organizations in filing a class action lawsuit challenging Arizona's Senate Bill 1070. As written, the bill requires state law enforcement officers to determine the immigration status of individuals whom law enforcement officers “reasonably suspect” are undocumented immigrants, resulting in warrantless arrests and detention. The statute constructs a special immigration enforcement regime for Arizona, creating new state-law criminal offenses relating to immigration. Advancing Justice - LA has co-counseled the case with several groups, including the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the National Immigration Law Center.