So let’s cut to the chase; despite ruling against three of its provisions, this ruling, which compels law-enforcement to cooperate with immigration authorities (Arizona’s SB 1070 2(b),) was not a victory. It represents a green light for law enforcement — based on “reasonable suspicion” — to engage in racial profiling, a license to harass and destroy families, not simply in Arizona, but nationwide. As we all know, in Arizona, and in this country generally, brown skin is “reasonable suspicion.”
Despite that, it also affords people nationwide to support organizing efforts in Arizona, because while the battles will continue in the courts, it would be literally in the streets where this decision will be played out. It’ll be the same place where organizing will continue to take place. These organizing efforts include Tucson’s upcoming Freedom Summer.
In regards to the decision that upheld the 2(b) section of SB 1070, the green light, compliments of the Supreme Court, is for the states that can now follow Arizona’s example. Reasonable people would see the striking down of the three provisions as an affirmation of the supremacy of the federal government on immigration matters. However, legislators from Arizona and the copycat states, will instead see that green light and they will not be stopped, unless halted by voters or a future court.
The small comfort is supposed to be that if it can be proven that SB 1070 causes abuse and rampant discrimination, etc., then the court can revisit and later strike it down. The Supreme Court no doubt is leaving it up to Brewer and Arpaio to compile this documentation. This actually places the burden on human rights organizations to do this work.
Before continuing, it’s time for a reality check. That, which everyone fears, has already been our reality in Arizona, precisely because of the likes of Brewer and Arpaio. But even beyond them, with thousands of dead bodies and remains strewn about the desert, with deportations at record levels and the continued militarization of both homeland security operations and the border itself, it is worse than people imagine. This was true even before SB 1070. The overreach of the federal government, especially since 9/11/2001, via homeland security, has enabled racial profiling to take place not simply along the border, but in the entire country via agreements such as 287G and Secure Communities, etc.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: Dr Cintli.