Democrats and their allies are tentatively heralding the Supreme Court’s ruling Monday regarding Arizona’s highly controversial SB 1070 as a political victory for the White House.
They are dismayed, though, that the court upheld the section of the law that critics say allows for racial profiling. Advocates predict that the ruling will drive Hispanic voters to the polls in November, where they’ll get a chance to weigh in on the politicians who support the law.
“The Supreme Court has been on the wrong side of justice in the past. We believe this is another one of those examples,” said. Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, which has sued Arizona over 1070. “It’s a dark moment in history. It ends up being state-sanctioned racial profiling.”
Hincapié told TPM she hopes lower courts will rule on the group’s request for an injunction stopping section 2B later, eventually killing the provision.
“We will be in court as soon as possible filing a motion asking them not to lift the injunction on 2B,” Hincapié said. She noted that “it takes time” for Monday’s Supreme Court ruling to go into effect.
Immigration advocates and progressive groups say there are likely to be far-ranging implications for Hispanics in Arizona now that the court has upheld 2B. The big fear is that the ruling gives police offers license to target any Arizonan who looks Hispanic.
“The Supreme Court has upheld a portion of the law that cracks the core of our principles — justice and equality, the very foundation America’s immigrant ancestors sought,” Eliseo Medina, an SEIU official, said in a statement. “The Arizona law, in effect, legitimizes racial profiling.”
Opponents of 1070 also said they believed Monday’s ruling will have far-ranging implications for politicians who support Arizona’s law. SEIU said the ruling means their joint campaign with a super PAC supporting President Obama that targets Hispanic voters is an “absolute necessity.” Hincapié said the court has virtually ensured that heavy Hispanic turnout in November.
“The fact that it’s been up held really means the community will continue organizing and will come out in strong numbers during the November elections,” Hincapié said. “Any state legislature that is considering this will hear very loudly from the community.”