ICIRR Urges Supreme Court to Strike Down Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant Law
Today, the Supreme Court hears arguments on the constitutionality of Arizona's immigration law, SB 1070. The following is the statement of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR):
Chicago -- ICIRR has been steadfast in opposing Arizona’s harsh anti-immigrant law, SB 1070, and similar bills that have been considered across the country. These laws tear apart families and neighborhoods, spread fear among communities of color, and undermine the trust that police authorities must have in order to protect public safety. Arizona has already paid a heavy economic price for this unwise legislation.
As the Supreme Court considers SB 1070, it must be mindful that its decision will have a broad impact in every state and community across the country. In essence it will be deciding whether our 50 states can enact 50 different sets of immigration laws, and whether legislators practicing the politics of fear and hate will continue to abuse our communities or be forced to stop their legislative attacks.
If the Supreme Court upholds SB 1070, numerous states that have held off their own versions of SB 1070 for fear of legal challenges will be encouraged to move forward with copycat bills. Such a decision would create a new precedent that could fundamentally change the relationship between the federal government and states in how states conduct immigration enforcement. However, if the Court strikes down SB 1070, it will uphold the basic longstanding Constitutional principle that states cannot enact laws that conflict with existing federal laws.
The Supreme Court should uphold the lower court decisions striking down SB 1070 and save states like Arizona from the folly of their unwise, unsound, and self-defeating forays into immigration enforcement.
The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is a statewide coalition of more than 130 organizations dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society. For more information, visit www.icirr.org.