Leaves “show me your papers” provision unsettledBoise, ID—Today the U.S. Supreme Court handed a mixed and unsettled ruling in the controversial SB 1070 Arizona immigration law. It held that three out of the four provisions in the Arizona law are preempted by federal law. On the most controversial 2B provision, which grants authority to law enforcement to determine someone’s immigration status based on “reasonable suspicion,” the Court indicated that it may face legal challenges in the future.
“We actually have a partial victory with today’s ruling,” said Leo Morales Communications Coordinator for the ACLU of Idaho. “The Supreme Court sent a strong message to states that immigration enforcement remains within the purview of the federal government. However, we express frustration that the Supreme Court decision postponed the inevitable result that this law leads to racial profiling.”
The failure of the Supreme Court to recognize the draconian nature of the “show me your papers” provision reveals that the Court remains out of touch with how such law enforcement tactics always lead to racial profiling and unfair detention of citizens and immigrants alike. It is practically impossible to enforce Section 2B without using race, color, or ethnicity. Because the implementation of this provision will lead to discriminatory practice, the ACLU will continue to litigate to safeguard constitutional rights of all people regardless of immigration status.
“Today’s decision is not the last word on ‘show me your papers’ type laws and it is certainly not a green light to create an Arizona-style copycat bill here in Idaho,” Said Monica Hopkins Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho. “Idaho is not Arizona and we remain committed to fighting any ‘show me your papers’ bills that surface here.”
The ACLU today unveiled a “war chest” of nearly 9 million dollars raised within a month to mount an aggressive response against these laws. It will help underwrite continued litigation against these measures, lobbying efforts and public education programs. The aim is to beat back laws that encourage racial profiling, undermine local law enforcement and sow a climate of fear that pits neighbor against neighbor.
“Show me your papers laws” exact a heavy financial toll. Alabama’s economy may have suffered a hit of as much as $6.5 billion as a result of its law, according to a University of Alabama study. A report conducted by the University of Idaho in 2012 of how reducing the supply of foreign-born labor would impact Idaho’s economy also showed some glooming numbers. The Gross State Product would fall by $430 million, state and local tax would fall by $43 million, and the total economic output falls by $1.3 billion.
We caution Idaho lawmakers from considering a copy-cat law in the 2013 Idaho legislature. Today not only did the Court strike down three major provisions of that law, but it expressed concerns that even the “show me your papers” section might very well be impossible to enforce in a manner that is not in conflict with federal law.
For an infographic about today’s decision and more information, go to: www.aclu.org/sb1070
Know Your Rights Videos
To watch a two-minute public service announcement about your rights in light of today’s Supreme Court decision on Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, SB 1070:
English video: http://youtu.be/2JTzeukZJrE
Spanish video: http://youtu.be/hmkOPOWZ1Uo