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Supreme Court Sends Strong Signal to Nation on Anti-Immigrant Laws

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With a 5-3 majority vote, yesterday, the Supreme Court sent a strong signal to the nation that Arizona’s anti-immigrant law is NOT a model for our country.  The ruling was a warning to other states not to follow in Arizona’s footsteps.

While the Justices ruled that most provisions of the law were unconstitutional, they let the dangerous “show me your papers” provision stand.  The Justices warned Arizona officials that they could only enforce the provision very narrowly, and the Court left the door open to striking the law down later on.

Regarding the “show me your papers” provision, Adam Bonin in his piece at Daily Kos writes, “Arizona could enforce this constitutionally, but was clear as to the limits on how.” ,

But for now, you can bet that with Sheriff Joe Arpaio still in power and with flawed programs like “Secure Communities”, we know that the Court’s decision will lead to racial profiling and harassment of people based on what they look like and how they speak – even if they are born in the US.

I had a minute to sit down with Frank Sharry, Executive Director at America’s Voice Education Fund, to talk about the ruling.  Here’s what he had to say:

Community organizations on the ground in Arizona are launching a neighborhood defense project, and are on the lookout for examples of discrimination to bring the case back to court. Legal experts are putting the next phase of the court battle in place. Polls show that the President’s decision to stop the deportations of DREAMers is wildly popular. And in 2012, no state followed Arizona’s lead by passing copycat legislation…

Though the news from the court today was both good and bad, this is clear: the immigrant rights movement is strong and headed in the right direction.