On immigration, Supreme Court sends a contradictory message

Andrew Innerarity REUTERS Dennis Ramos chants with fellow protesters during a rally in Miami, to protest against the U.S. Supreme … Continued

Andrew Innerarity

REUTERS

Dennis Ramos chants with fellow protesters during a rally in Miami, to protest against the U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows non-federal police officers in Arizona to perform immigration checks Monday.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Arizona’s SB 1070 helped not only Arizona but the entire country take a very small step forward, but we have to hold on to it with all our might or it escapes us.

The Supreme Court affirmed that matters of immigration policy and its implementation are a matter of federal law not state law. This is a word of clarity that has been lost in the political rhetoric that has paralyzed sound thinking and action in Arizona and other states. However, the court’s decision to allow the “show me your papers” section of SB 1070 to remain standing undermines the impact of the positive actions the Supreme Court has taken.

The section of SB 1070 that was left standing is, as Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has stated, “the heart of SB 1070.” This section of the law allows local, county and state law enforcement officers to ask people if they are documented or not. It seems that the court believes that this kind of law enforcement within states complements federal law enforcement.

The fact that law enforcement may only ask the question of a person’s documentation after detaining them for lawful reasons is not helpful, as some argue. Giving law enforcement officers serving within states this authority continues to enmesh state and federal enforcement of immigration policy. Those of us who live in Arizona are forced to ask, “Is immigration policy and its implementation a federal not a state matter, or not?” It seems to us that the Supreme Court is sending a contradictory message. The contradiction is, for us, not a simple ruling of law in the abstract or in the yet unknown. It is already critical to life in our state.

The public word is that the section of SB 1070 that was left standing will probably come back through the courts system, challenged as it is implemented. I understand that the Supreme Court has indicated that it will be watching to see whether SB 1070 will be implemented fairly and stands ready to consider further challenges to this state law. While this position is commendable, it is as if nothing has happened in Arizona thus far to strongly suggest that none of SB 1070 is helpful to the fair and just exercise of law in this state. The fact that the sheriff of Maricopa County is under federal indictment for abuse of power is a sign of this. The spirit of this law has already caused racial profiling, and the deterioration of trust between communities of color and local law enforcement.

Arizona has for too long been living under a state of fear, and it is not fear caused by our immigrant population. It is the fear caused by the abuse of power of some in law enforcement and the groping for political gain on the part of others at the expense of immigrants. Former Phoenix police chief Jack Harris was correct many times when he said force local law enforcement to act as immigration officers is to undermine their work. The good work of law enforcement in Arizona has been undermined by misconceived and even malicious laws like SB 1070. Unfortunately, our federal government, for its own political expediency, has allowed us to wallow in our mire, forgetting that, at times, what happens in one state will ultimately seep through and affect the entire country.

I am grateful for President Obama’s moral courage in taking a stand to allow some young immigrants to remain in the U.S. to study, serve in the armed forces, and seek employment. The Obama administration’s decision in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on SB 1070, to suspend all 287g agreements with Arizona, a part of the Secure Communities Program that allows partnerships between local police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), is to be commended as well.

We need clear and decisive leadership from our president and federal government on the complex issue of immigration. It would have helped if the Supreme Court had been as clear and decisive.

Bishop Minerva Carcaño, the first Hispanic woman elected as a United Methodist bishop, leads the Phoenix Episcopal Area, Desert Southwest Conference. She is also a spokeswoman for the Council of Bishops on the issue of immigration.

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  • deloprator20000

    There is another group that, if they exist, could also inadvertently be affected by this ruling. According to abduction researchers Budd Hopkins, John Mack, and David Jacobs, it is possible that human-alien hybrids are living among us. If these hybrids were not born on earth, yet are living here, and did not obtain legal residence, then according to human law they are “illegal aliens”.

    So law enforcement officers could also look out for these hybrids, with enough stops we might be able to find an actual human-alien hybrid and possibly be able to ask him/her/it to meet with their ET parents

  • ONE NATION

    What right does a person have to enter a nation agaist that nations laws? NONE! Try doing it to Mexico and see what will happen to you. The Suprem Court is correct and President Obama better fully enforce all federal laws. Congress should look at Canada’s point system for correct immigration.

  • AgentFoxMulder

    Let massive numbers of Americans go to other countries without going through the proper channels, without papers. See how long those countries will tolerate us.

    There is legal immigration and illegal immigration. I’m all for the former and against the latter.

  • infinity555

    A COVERT AMNESTY HAS BEEN PASSED BECAUSE PRESIDENT OBAMA, HAS NOT ONLY DISMISSED LAWS PASSED BY THE CONGRESS, BUT NOW IS STATED THAT IT WILL NOT ENFORCE IMMIGRATION LAWS, SPECIFICALLY ON THE ONGOING INTIMIDATION OF ARIZONA. IN OTHER WORDS THIS PRESIDENT HAS METHODICALLY TORE UP THE EDICTS IN THE CONSTITUTION AND ALLOWING FOREIGN NATIONALS TO STAY BY EXECUTIVE FIAT. THIS MAN DOESN’T SEEM TO CARE THAT THIS COUNTRY IS BEING OVERWHELMED BY THE POVERTY FROM SOUTH OF THE BORDER, BUT ALSO A MAGNET TO MILLIONS OF PREGNANT WOMEN WHO ONCE ARRIVE HERE CAN STEAL THE WELFARE OF AMERICAN FAMILIES. ONCE SMUGGLED THROUGH THE BORDER 400.000 ILLEGAL ALIEN MOTHERS ANNUALLY CAN REAP THE REWARDS OF CRIMINALLY ENTERING THE UNITED STATES. WHAT SHOULD BE GOING TO OUR OWN CITIZENS, BEING BLED FROM STATE TREASURIES TO PAY FOR THE WELFARE THROUGH COURT UNFUNDED MANDATES.

    We are looking at a President that has added trillions of dollars to the 16 trillion deficits. With Hillary Clinton going overseas and giving $2 billion of taxpayers’ money to some obscure organization in these administrations push for green energy. Not satisfied with this, the Democrats are selling Americas rights of the oceans; with ‘The Treaty of the Sea’.

    We should not be looking from either the Obama Government or the Mitt Romney potential administration, but the TEA PARTY. IT is the Time of the PEOPLE’S PARTY. It is the time for the TEA PARTY, which is complimented by man/women; African, White, Hispanic, Asian and other Americans of different nationalities. The TEA PARTY is a wealth of different religions, faiths, gay and ordinary people of every walk of life. Remember a large Majority who votes for President Obama for a second term could be non citizens or American citizens who spend their days watching TV, selling drugs, collecting public assistance and living off the rest of us as parasites. The exception is the sick and true disabled human beings, so think of their dilemma who taxpayers should be assisting, inst

  • infinity555

    The Obama Justice Department led by the notorious U.S. Attorney General Eric holder has been harassing the legal residents of Arizona, as some plaything? The Obama’s administration is playing with the lives of innocent citizens, being slaughtered on the highways of America, the criminals who have spilled into this sovereign nation, transporting their drugs across the border. Daily headlines in the rural press tell of murders, home invasion and assaults on women and children by illegal aliens. How many more citizens are going to live in fear of their lives throughout the border region? Which cattleman is going to be murdered on his land, have their home ransacked, fences cut or their property covered with narco-terrorist trails leaving piles of human trash.

    Who will be the next U.S. border Patrol agent to die, through slip shod programs such as ‘fast and furious’ an unraveling mystery as yet to be revealed? Just look at the statistics of crimes on ‘THE DARK SIDE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION’ website? But the mainstream Liberal press either denies this is happening or refuses to print the truth. Of course the Ultra Socialist editors in the mainstream media always corrupt the evidence, stating that Americans commit the same offenses. Obviously Americans do, but does that mean we should tolerate the heinous criminals from other nations and third world countries who shouldn’t be here in the first place. Both political parties in their own wretched way, have brought this epidemic on this land.

    However, they refuse to recognize, that if the border was really secured or they could track the over stays, who use international flights as foreigners posing as tourists. All this mayhem brought about by years of what I think was intentional unconcern and ignorance by decades of previous governments. Seeing the Supreme Court’s ruling didn’t go exactly the Justice Department way, they are acting like a spoiled child by cutting of the 287(g) enforcement law for the Grand Canyon state. In

  • nkri401

    Native Americans have been wondering your very question for a long, long while.

    Just asying…

  • persiflage

    Apparently infinity refers to endless rambling – always wondered.

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