Arizona's SB 1070 2(b) and Not to Be
If Brewer and Arpaio are cheering and excited about the U.S. Supreme Court decision, then you know something is wrong
Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez
If Gov. Jan Brewer and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio are cheering and excited about the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on Arizona's SB 1070, then you know something is wrong. And when both promise that there will be no racial profiling, that's akin to the proverbial foxes promising to take real good care of the hens.
Published on LatinoLA: June 28, 2012
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.
Something that most of the country is still unaware of is that several weeks before SB 1070 was enacted, some 800 federal law enforcement officers descended upon Tucson, conducted a mass dragnet raid, and ended up arresting barely a few people involved in a shuttle bus smuggling operation. Again, this was prior to SB 1070.
In the midst of a presidential campaign, people will be choosing between two candidates, hoping that one is a little bit better than the other one. Enter Arizona. Enter the US-Mexico border. Enter Alabama. Enter the Dream Act. Sure, one candidate is a little bit better than the other one. But basic dehumanization characterizes how this and previous administrations deal with the issue of immigration.
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