Yeah The Supreme Court Legalizes Racial Profiling.

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( In an unsurprising move the U.S. Supreme Court upheld one of four parts of the Arizona’s immigration law. While deciding in a 5 to 3 decision that three parts of the law were unconstitutional and that regulating immigration should be left up to the federal government, the court decided unanimously that police and other law enforcement officials in Arizona can check the immigration status of a person on the reasonable suspicion that person is in the country illegally. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer applauded the Supreme Court upholding what she called the heart of the law despite opponents of SB1070 saying the bill will cause racial profiling and the infringement of civil rights. To that Brewer said, “civil rights will be protected and racial profiling will not be tolerated.”

I don’t see that happening.

Jan Brewer can’t protect civil rights and prevent racial profiling if the Supreme Court has only upheld this portion of the law to let it be legally challenged once implemented. The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision  upholding the “papers please” provision of the law was a decision of inaction. A decision that has allowed states to do as they please to “assist” the federal government in forming a comprehensive immigration policy where none exists that ends up only antagonizing law abiding citizens.

If we look at immigration policies in the United States they have always taken a hard line stance and been reactionary to the wave of immigrants flocking to U.S. shores. From the alien and sedition acts in the late 1700s to the 20,000 per country quota in 1976 the United States has never been extremely friendly to immigrants; we’ve been reluctant to their acceptance at best. Turned a blind eye to their influx because they have done the jobs we have refused to do. But we have never as a country addressed the immigration policy that is both fair to immigrants wishing to relocate here legally and Americans competing amongst each other to survive in an economy hostile to those not extremely rich or middling just above dirt poor.

The Supreme Court’s ruling on SB1070 reaffirms Arizona’s misguided self righteousness to fight tooth and nail the real problem in their state with policies that may target the wrong people. Like New York’s Stop and Frisk law the provision upheld in SB1070 will force police to make their own determination of what reasonable is. Police will have to decide by their own discernment what an illegal immigrant looks like. Are they dark or light, closer to Black or White or Asian? Do they have an accent or do they sound like assimilated Americans? If their last name is Zimmerman but they look Hispanic do they ask for proof of citizenship or assume the person is a natural born American.

The questions left up to police determination may lead to path of blatant discrimination and prejudice in the mind of the wrong officer. All it takes is one bigot in blue to unnecessarily target a group of people to bring down a law that was never reasonable.

The Supreme Court upholding this one particular provision of SB1070 puts it behind the curve they’ve already succeeded from. The ruling on this law should have been an extension of separate is not equal in Brown v. Board of Ed. or the end of miscegenation laws in Loving v. Virginia. Instead it is a step back into the time before civil rights where people cowered in fear at night of being harassed for no reason by reasonable people who had been given silent license to take the law into their own hands. This time instead of sheets and hoods with holes for the eyes those tormenting the wrongfully accused will appear full frontal without anything to hide behind because that is what is reasonable and comprehensive in an effort to make over our immigration policy.

Staff Writer; Nikesha Leeper

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