Supreme Court Upholds Racial Profiling in Arizona, Strikes Down Rest of SB-1070

Supreme Court Upholds Racial Profiling in Arizona, Strikes Down Rest of SB-1070

Civil Rights Activists and Immigrant Communities Ready to Fight Back

While the US Supreme Court ruled today that Arizona’s SB 1070 violated the supremacy of the federal government in immigration law, it failed to uphold fundamental civil rights protections.  

The US Supreme Court upheld the dangerous provision of Arizona’s SB1070 (Section 2b)  by allowing law enforcement in Arizona to stop pedestrians who they suspect may be undocumented and check their immigration status- a move ensuring that racial profiling remain legal in Arizona and which paves the way for other states to do the same.

In the ruling, the court specifically rejected the broad authority that the government of Arizona tried to establish by striking down three of the four provisions of SB-1070:

— Authorizing police to conduct a warrant-less arrest of anyone they suspect could be deported

— Making it a state crime for “unauthorized immigrants” to be undocumented (fail to carry registration papers and other government identification)

— Criminalizing work for undocumented immigrants (forbidding those not authorized for employment in the United States to apply, solicit or perform work)

“Even before today’s decision, Wisconsin constituents have recognized the damage Arizona’s SB 1070 has had economically, socially, and morally. Wisconsinites have successfully called on elected leaders of both parties to halt an Arizona copycat bill and pass a county resolution this year that reforms Milwaukee County’s ICE detainer policies.  The Supreme Court’s decision today reverses some of the damage SB-1070 has done, and begins to re-balance the scales of justice in Arizona once again.  But it’s a dangerous mistake to allow the legalization of what amounts to racial profiling,” says Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera.

“Immigrants and Latinos who have legal status in Arizona will continue to face tremendous persecution, being broadly targeted based on the color of their skin. SB-1070’s racial profiling provision undermines public safety and community trust with law enforcement. We anticipate that this provision will be blocked and challenged in the courts.”