Letter No. 30: Immigration reform now! (36101)

This June, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to deliver its ruling on whether Arizona’s controversial immigration law, SB 1070, can be upheld and enforced after listening to arguments from both sides on Wednesday, April 25.

So far, the justices, with the possible exception of Hispanic Justice Sonia Sotomayor, reportedly seemed ready to agree with Arizona and allow them to enforce the most controversial part of this law–the requirement that police officers check the immigration status of people they suspect are in the country illegally.

Such a ruling would be utter madness on the part of the justices and would certainly represent their interpretation of the Constitution regarding racial profiling, something that this law leaves the door open to and cannot be ignored. It would also codify the type of local enforcement that some authorities in Arizona have carried out over the last six years and open the door to such enforcement in states with similar laws, such as Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah. It would be utterly frightening for every immigrant in the United States, legal or not.

The Obama administration has stupidly ignored the racial profiling aspects of the law to date, instead arguing that it conflicts with a more nuanced federal immigration policy that seeks to balance national security, law enforcement, foreign policy, human rights and the rights of law-abiding citizens and immigrants. In other words, they are sticking to their guns that only the feds have the right to enforce immigration laws.

Yet, even the president, in a recent interview with Univision Television in Cartagena, has slammed the law, saying it “potentially allows a person to be stopped and be asked for their documents based on an assumption.”

As Sotomayor posited, should this law be upheld, a person stopped for an offense and held on suspicion of unlawful residence could wind up in custody for long periods of time. Of course, this could mean anyone, even a U.S. citizen.

Let’s all pray and hope the esteemed justices get in touch with reality and see this law for what it is–a clear attempt to legalize racial profiling and undoubtedly a violation of an individual’s constitutional and human rights.

The writer is founder of NewsAmericasNow, CaribPR Wire and Hard Beat Communications.