U. S. Supreme Court: Local Police To Become the Frontline for ICE and Border Patrol


U. S. Supreme Court: Local Police To Become the Frontline for ICE and Border PatrolCommunities Vow to Continue the Fight Against SB 1070

Tucson, Ariz - CoaliciĆ³n de Derechos Humanos joins millions of workers, students, fathers, mothers, children and families across the country to denounce the decision by the U. S. Supreme Court in the lawsuit by the Obama administration against the racist Arizona law, known as SB 1070. While the Court correctly asserts Constitutional federal preemption in striking down the three provisions that would have allowed for immediate arrests and criminal charges, it permits the enforcement of Section 2B, a state mandate on thousands of law enforcement officers across the state to become the "front line" for ICE and the U. S. Customs and Border Patrol.

Requiring police officers to investigate a person's immigration status based on "reasonable suspicion" will unleash a massive wave of racial discrimination and unconstitutional detentions, especially in the Border States. Police will be allowed and/or required to detain a person until a Border Patrol or ICE agent arrives to take custody. And it will result in the separation of families. Existing local police policies, which already permit this practice, will now be mandatory. With the unprecedented increase in the size of Border Patrol and ICE over the past 10 years, together with the dramatic decrease in the migration flow, means that agents are always available in the border states, particularly in Arizona.

The decision to approve Arizona's "papers please" section of the law is not only an affront to humanity, but to truth itself. Refusing to even consider any other view of reality, the majority Court Opinion recites from negative and incorrect information put out by one of the nation's top anti-immigrant think tanks, the Center for Immigration Studies. In the preface to their decision, they state: "(T)hese concerns are the background for the formal legal analysis that follows."

Nowhere in the Opinion is there any acknowledgement of the history of immigration, particularly from Mexico, nor of the impact of U. S foreign and economic policies on migration, policies that have caused mass migration rather than allow for people to stay in their own countries. Nowhere is there a mention of any evidence that demonstrates that for over one hundred years immigrants have and continue to enrich Arizona and our nation. Most importantly, the Opinion does not even recognize that approximately half of the undocumented population has not committed the crime of "illegal entry" but rather entered with a permit and have overstayed their visas, a civil violation of their permit. Instead, they refer to all as "illegal."

For those of us who have faced rampant human and civil rights abuse and harassment in Arizona and along the border, this decision as well as federal programs like 287(G) and Secure Communities, have deepened our commitment to organize and advocate at every level. We will resist in every way we can, from educational forums, to lawsuits, to electoral work, to massive actions, until SB 1070 and other racist, divisive measures are repealed.

Resistance is our call.