Civil and human rights groups welcomed the Supreme Court ruling today that struck down most of Arizona’s S.B. 1070 anti-immigration law but cautioned that the court’s deferral on the issue of allowing officers to request proof of lawful presence in the U.S. could lead to racial profiling and harassment of citizens.
“Today’s Supreme Court decision is not all that we wanted, but it’s certainly not all that we feared. In striking down three of the four major provisions of Arizona’s divisive and costly anti-immigration law, S.B. 1070, a majority of the Court largely affirmed that this law – and those like it in other states – violates our Constitution and our core American values,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
Henderson added that states considering adopting similar measures should take note of the court’s ruling today, which “sends a clear message that these laws are irresponsible and counterproductive.”
Janet Murguía, president and CEO of National Council of La Raza, responded to today’s ruling by reaffirming the commitment to keep fighting until provisions legitimizing racial profiling are struck down or repealed. “We will continue the fight in the legislatures, in the courts, and in the voting booth. Thirty-one states have declined to follow SB 1070’s path because these types of laws are costly, ineffective, and discriminatory, and the evidence on that remains unchanged,” Murguía said in a statement.
The commitment to continue the fight against Arizona’s and similar state laws was echoed by Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). “The ACLU will seize this opportunity and continue the battle against laws like SB 1070 which encourage and codify racial profiling of immigrant communities and people of color,” Romero said in a blog post. “We will defend the rights of all Americans by aggressively fighting to keep any new Arizona-inspired, anti-immigrant law from being enacted in other states. America must come together as a nation to join in this critical struggle against the dark clouds of racial injustice,” he added.