The Arizona chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has released thousands of emails sent by the author of the state's controversial immigration law, saying they prove it was racially motivated, The Arizona Republic reports.


Obtained via a public records request to the Arizona legislature, the e-mails were sent from both the work and personal e-mail accounts of SB 1070's author, former state Senate President Russell Pearce (R). The Republic has posted those e-mails in PDF format here.

"Can we maintain our social fabric as a nation with Spanish fighting English for dominance," one e-mail asks. "... 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."

Another accused immigrants of creating "enclaves of separate groups that shall balkanize our nation into fractured nightmares of social unrest and poverty."

Pearce has not answered requests for comment, but Matthew Benson, a spokesperson for Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who signed the law into existence, told The Republic the release of the e-mails was a smoke screen.

"By focusing upon an individual legislator's e-mails, they intend to divert focus from SB 1070's simple, common-sense language -- language that the overwhelming majority of Arizonans and Americans support, and language that the Supreme Court unanimously upheld," Benson said.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down most of SB 1070 last month, saying it was trumped by federal law, but a provision allowing police officers to inquire about immigration status was retained.

[H/T to ThinkProgress]