United States: Crucial Decision on Anti-Immigrant Law

The United States Supreme Court recently issued their decision in the case Arizona v. United States, putting into question the constitutionality of Law SB 1070.

The Supreme Court struck down three sections of the law, but sent back to the lower court for consideration the provision of Section 2(B), which grants authorities the power to detain people that are suspected of lacking legal documents to be in Arizona.

Demonstrators protesting law SB 1070 were gathered in front of the Supreme Court.  Photo from Mexicans Without Borders on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Demonstrators protesting law SB 1070 were gathered in front of the Supreme Court.  Photo from Mexicans Without Borders on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Although the overruling of certain sections of law SB 1070 is a partial victory for pro-immigration activists, Section 2(B) represents a great danger because it will lead to racial profiling- based on appearance and how one speaks- even if the individual was born in the United States.  As a result, bringing the End Racial Profiling Act to a plenary session of Congress has been proposed, with the goal of mitigating the possible effects of law SB 1070.

The reaction of the blogosphere was swift. Maribel Hastings wrote for the blog Latinovations that, according to her, law SB 1070 will be counterproductive for the Arizona population:

The Court has the potential to officially condone the use of racial profiling and discrimination against Hispanics and other minorities…The law was enacted in the name of fighting undocumented immigration, but its victims may be legal residents or, ironically, citizens–the precious voters both parties are trying to attract.

The blog InmigranteTV states that immigrants fear a wave of discrimination in the wake of the court ruling:

Este artículo [Section 2(B)] puede llevar a generar discriminación racial contra los inmigrantes hispanos, legales o indocumentados, por su apariencia física, señala Promise Arizona, organización con sede en Phoenix…Son muchos los casos que se reportaron en el pasado sobre el actuar de las agencias policiales al detener a personas solo por su piel, su forma de hablar, vestirse[;] por tal razón, existe un temor muy grande que los hispanos sean blanco de los agentes del orden en la aplicación de la SB 1070.

This article [Section 2(B)] could end up generating racial profiling against hispanic immigrants, legal or undocumented, because of their physical appearance, noted Promise Arizona, an organization with a branch in Phoenix…Many cases have been reported in the past about how police agents act when stopping people only because of their skin, way of talking, or clothing.  For this reason, there is a great fear that hispanics would be targeted by law enforcement officers in the implementation of law SB 1070.

Pili Tobar explains the “true position” of Americans with regards to the nation's immigration system for the America's Voice blog:

Americans believe the immigration system is broken and know that action is needed to fix it.  And some voters are so frustrated with the stalemate in Washington that they’re willing to consider other options.  But support for comprehensive immigration reform is actually stronger than support for state-based crackdown laws.  As it turns out, politicians can appeal to both Latino voters and other Americans simply by embracing and acting on real immigration solutions.

On Twitter, many question the effectiveness and the possible repercussions of law SB 1070:

Alia Rau (@aliarau) discloses the monetary expense that law SB 1070 has brought with it:

@aliarau: Arizona officials have spent nearly $3 million defending #SB1070 the past two years: http://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/ … via @azcentral

Lastly, Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez, of Puerto Rican descent, expressed his point of view in regards to SB 1070:

@LuisGutierrez: We've had fun this week getting across a serious message: No one should be judged by the color of their skin or name, #SB1070 is un-American

1 comment

  • I believe the Court favored federal policy, over federal law. The is will become evident, when a different President supports a different policy. The court has declared the law almost irrelevant. The policy must be adhered to. Each President changes policy.

    States should focus on E-Verify, not SB1070. With E-Verify implemented nationally, we uphold our immigration laws.

    Vote AGAINST every politician that supports ILLEGAL migrants, over LEGAL residents.

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