Today, as I stood on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court eagerly following Arizona’s SB 1070 ruling, I had the opportunity to interview some advocates of the immigration reform movement.
The message that seemed to resonate among those present was that although three of the four provisions were struck down, the fourth —the so called “show me your papers” clause — is very harmful to communities. It allows racial profiling on the basis of appearance. Even though there might be limits on how this last provision is implemented, those who feel they have the legal authority to enforce laws might feel compelled to use this piece as an excuse to discriminate.
It’s clear that a lot more work is left to be done to fix our country’s impractical immigration system and the court’s decision was only one piece of the puzzle. Some believe that the SCOTUS decision served as an example for states that immigration law is the federal government’s responsibility — not the states — and infringing on those rights can have huge negative effects on our country as a whole. Nevertheless, the underlying line was that the answer lies in having a comprehensive solution from Congress.
For more analysis and statement from Jim Wallis, go HERE.
Photos from outside the courthouse as the decision was handed down:
Ivone Guillen is Immigration Campaigns Fellow for Sojourners.