SB 1070: California Is Not Arizona

hector villagraMonday the Supreme Court struck down most of Arizona’s SB 1070, the anti-immigrant draconian law that was passed in 2010. Three key provisions were struck down today and these were some of the most outrageous provisions in the law.

The first made it unlawful for an undocumented immigrant without work authorization to look for or accept work.

The second made it unlawful for a lawful immigrant to not carry their immigration papers on them.

And the third would have allowed local police officers to make a warrantless arrest of a person if they suspected they had committed a deportable crime. And when it comes to deciding who is deportable, who is not — who is removable and who is not — local police officers simply don’t have the training and the expertise to make that decision. So it would have been ridiculous. Thankfully none of those provisions will never see the light of day; they will never go into effect.

One provision was, for at least the moment, allowed to remain alive. And that’s the so-called “show me your papers” provision. That provision allows a police officer in Arizona during a lawful stop, detention or arrest, to verify a person’s immigration status if the officer believes the person to be undocumented.

How in the world is an officer supposed to decide that somebody’s undocumented, other than by looking at the color of their skin, hearing their accent, or looking at their name? It is an absolute, blatant invitation for local police officers to engage in racial profiling. And it will violate the rights and the dignity of citizens and lawful immigrants throughout Arizona.

We have no doubt of this. And we have no doubt that we will be able to prove it in a court, and that we will be able to enjoin the “show me your papers” provision from ever going into effect.

Monday’s decision has posed a question for states around the country: do they want to follow the Arizona example? Or do they want to follow a different path? California is not Arizona: it never has been and it never will be. There’s one way to make sure of that, and that’s to establish a law in California, that police here will be police and will remain police. They’re not going to be turned into immigration agents.

We should not follow the example of Arizona. I think that Monday’s decision shows that Arizona is a failed experiment. Most of this law – most of it has been struck down. And the piece that remains is obviously on life support. And it’s just a matter of time before that dies the death that it deserves.

hector villagraThere’s one aspect of Monday’s decision that I think everyone should be in agreement in. And that is our immigration system is obviously broken. The message that came through from the Supreme Court’s decision, is that however frustrated a state might be, that doesn’t give it room to pass its own immigration laws.

And I think that’s a message that the country should hear, and move away from pushing these sort of local proposals, towards pushing our elected representatives in Congress to do the right thing. They’ve known for years what it is, they’ve just refused to do it. And now’s the opportunity for us to turn our attention back to them and the job they need to do.

Hector Villagra
Executive Director
ACLU of Southern California
ACLU-SC Facebook 

Posted: Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The article is a transcription of the videotaped remarks.

Comments

  1. Jack Black says

    So the cops detain someone for breaking the law and you think they shouldn’t bother to check their immigration status? You think it’s reasonable for American taxpayers to have to pay for a whole separate set of federal employees to deal with illegal aliens, even those who are already in police custody? Yeah right, let’s waste more tax money with redundant police services.
     
    Oh, I get it. If immigration enforcement is kept separate from regular police work, then illegal aliens are less likely to get caught living in our country illegally because there won’t be enough immigration officers. You basically want more lawbreakers to get away with illegal immigration. And since so many of our illegal aliens are Hispanic like you, you are obsessively working to help them get away with illegal immigration.

    … these were some of the most outrageous provisions in the law. The first made it unlawful for an undocumented immigrant without work authorization to look for or accept work.

     
    When people break into this country to work here, they take jobs that Americans need. They also drive down wages, and let employers get away with not following workplace safety rules. They cost the rest of us money because we have to pay for their healthcare costs, and they produce children that are automatically eligible for all of our social services: free food, housing, healthcare, education, college education, the works. Illegal aliens and even visitors and tourists can get all this for their kids, even if they’ve never paid a dime into the system! Great move Hector. You work for the ACLU and you’re pushing for policies that will allow and even encourage people to get away with breaking the law. I’ve donated to the ACLU for years, back when their work supported citizen rights. I see now with people like you in charge, the ACLU would rather encourage lawlessness and prioritizing Hispanics over other races.
     

    How in the world is an officer supposed to decide that somebody’s undocumented, other than by looking at the color of their skin, hearing their accent, or looking at their name?

    That assumption establishes your pro-Hispanic bias. Why are you assuming that all illegal aliens have dark skin and Latin names? Except for stupid states like Washington that give out driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, anyone of any race or skin color should be able to produce a license to verify identity and citizenship. How do police officers decide if they’re undocumented? By asking everyone they stop for documentation, regardless of ethnicity, which is what they already do. But hey, keep pretending “your people” are oppressed and picked on, because then maybe more naive liberals will support your drive to make this country mostly Hispanic, just as your ancestors have done to most of Central and South America.

  2. Annette says

    Keep smiling Hector Villagra, pretty soon illegal aliens will have bankrupted California. Keep pushing for more and more resources for people of “your tribe” at the expense of all other ethnic groups, and then you can use your newly empowered Hispanic voting block to ensure that our politicians allow massive immigration from poor Latin nations. Once you’ve flooded the employment market with immigrants, clever billionaires like Romney can come to the rescue and fire middle class Americans and chose from the millions of immigrants eager to take their places.
     
    Then companies can get rid of those pesky workplace safety rules, minimum wage laws, social security and all the other employment gains we’ve fought for over the past century. Having taken the load off those overpopulated poor nations, their own billionaires can continue to abuse their employees. You’ll have brought our nation to the same crappy employment standards as those other countries. But hey, as long as it benefits “your people” a bit more than those terrible white skinned oppressors, right?
     
    Americans are fed up with cheaters stealing from us. We’re tired of illegal aliens taking resources we pay for. We’re tired of cheating employers making us pay for the healthcare for their illegal alien employees. The Arizona law was struck down, but the reasons for it will only get worse. Especially with people like Hector Villagra and all his naïve liberal dew-eyed followers pushing our elected representatives in Congress to “do the right thing” and give amnesty to illegal aliens.

  3. ronwf says

    “And that is our immigration system is obviously broken. The message
    that came through from the Supreme Court’s decision, is that however
    frustrated a state might be, that doesn’t give it room to pass its own
    immigration laws.And I think that’s a message that the country
    should hear, and move away from pushing these sort of local proposals,
    towards pushing our elected representatives in Congress to do the right
    thing.”

    Fixing our broken immigration system doesn’t require action by Congress.  Congress has passed plenty of laws.  Action by our Executive is what is needed.

    1) It should pursue enforcing the laws we have much more strongly than we now do.
    2) It should make the functioning of the State Department’s immigration processes faster and more efficient.

  4. ronwf says

    “How in the world is an officer supposed to decide that somebody’s
    undocumented, other than by looking at the color of their skin, hearing
    their accent, or looking at their name?”

    It’s actually quite simple.  If the person involved has a valid drivers license – and it’s already the practice across the country that the cops take your license and check to see if it’s valid when they stop you – then the law requires that they be presumed to be citizens.  But if they don’t have any kind of valid ID on them – and as pointed out, Federal law requires that resident aliens have in their possession at all times proof they are here legally – then it’s legitimate to question their immigration status.  A little inconvenient for someone like me if I left my license at home.  But if the Arizona cops start checking the immigration status of everyone that doesn’t have a legal ID, whether they’re Hispanic, Irish, or whatever, then there’s no discrimination and the law will stand.

  5. ronwf says

    All the provisions that were struck down were already requirements of Federal law (that a certain someone swore in the name of God that he would faithfully uphold).  So – let Arizona use the remaining provisions to report illegal aliens to the Federal government.  And let the Federal government refuse to do anything.  And in November, let Arizona announce that they had reported 10,000 or 20,000 or whatever illegal aliens to the Federal government who then did NOTHING about it and let them all go.  We’ll see how that will play.

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