Photo: Supreme Court on sb1070
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court took on one of the most important legal cases of this year when it heard arguments over Arizona’s “show me your papers” law, SB 1070.
The Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling on SB 1070 in late June.
If the Court rules in favor of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, it will effectively legalize the harassment and discrimination of an entire population – just because of the color of their skin or the accent with which they speak.
But if the majority of the Justices vote in our favor, they will stand up for the basic rights of millions of people of color.
Some of what was said by the conservatives on the Supreme Court during the oral argument was hardly encouraging. Justice Scalia compared immigrants to bank robbers. Chief Justice Roberts insisted that “this isn’t about racial profiling.”
As we know, this law is all about racial profiling.
Under this law anyone “reasonably suspect” of being here without immigration status has to be asked by law enforcement to produce their papers. If allowed to go into effect, citizens and immigrants alike, especially Latinos, will be treated as a suspect class.
What happens if the Supreme Court rules against us? There is hope. We saw it on the steps of the Court, where more than a thousand people rallied for justice in the hot sun. On the other side was a small band of 20 or so angry SB 1070 supporters screaming “nobody invited you here!” and “go back to your Third World armpit!” Our crowd was big, diverse, young and hopeful. The other group was none of these.
Changing the course of history has never been easy, and the fight for immigrant justice is no different. But the truth is that the number of angry extremists in this country is relatively small, and their days of blocking humane and sensible immigration reform are numbered.
Whatever radicals in Arizona or the Supreme Court decide, we will prevail. Let’s keep up the fight. Let’s continue to build the political power we need to win. And let’s know in our hearts that victory is not a matter of if, but a matter of when.