June 25, 2012
In a strongly worded 5-3 decision, the Supreme Court today rejected Arizona-style overreach, but upheld the law’s most dangerous provision, which gave the green light to discrimination and racial profiling. While the decision sends a clear signal to right-wing legislators in Arizona, Alabama, and other states that most state anti-immigrant legislation is not only morally wrong but also indisputably unconstitutional, it does little to address the humanitarian crisis taking place in Arizona today.
Arizona’s children, families and workers have been living under Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s campaign of terror for years and will be irreparably harmed if he is given new powers under SB 1070’s Section 2(b).
We must never forget that immoral Jim Crow segregation laws targeting African-Americans were upheld by generations of Supreme Court rulings. Despite a hostile court, however, the civil rights movement – with the help of unions — was able to overcome the oppression of Jim Crow. Similarly, today we are confident that working people – no matter their race, gender, age or immigration status – can join together to fix our country’s broken immigration system and defend core American ideals and freedoms.
The Obama administration must take responsibility to solve the crisis too, starting with immediate suspension of the infamous “Secure Communities” program, an ill-conceived immigration enforcement program launched in 2008 that is essentially the blueprint for Arizona’s racial profiling provision. See http://bit.ly/AFLCIO1070
The movement for the rights of workers – whether U.S.-born or aspiring citizens – is about to enter a new phase, and we pledge to stand together on the side of justice and fairness. Today’s decision only strengthens our resolve to stand together to make change happen.