Andrea Nill: In his dissent, Justice Breyer wrote that “either directly or through the uncertainty that it creates, the Arizona statute will impose additional burdens upon lawful employment”.
Andrea Nill: SB-1070 enjoys high levels of support amongst members of the National Socialist Movement. However, the majority of SB-1070 supporters are not neo-Nazis. What’s troubling is that despite the widespread belief that SB-1070 will lead to increased racism and racial profiling, the majority of Arizonans still support it.
Andrea Nill: Whitman’s stance on Proposition 187 is also a contradiction in itself. During her primary campaign, Whitman released an ad featuring former Gov. Pete Wilson (R-CA) who affirmed that Whitman will be “as tough as nails” on immigration. Wilson’s endorsement might have scored some points with right-wingers, but it also meant a lot to California Latinos who remember him backing Proposition 187.
Andrea Nill: Proponents of Arizona’s new immigration law, SB-1070, have a new talking point: they are now arguing that if the Department of Justice (DOJ) is going to legally challenge SB-1070, it should also go after “sanctuary city” policies as well. “Sanctuary city” is a right-wing derisive term used to describe cities that have adopted community policing policies that prevent police from asking about the immigration status of or detaining and arresting immigrants solely for being undocumented.
Andrea Nill: At this point, it’s difficult to verify what role, if any, SB-1070 played in Varela’s death. However, chances are the law has made an already toxic atmosphere worse. A growing number of Latinos are already the targets of discrimination and hate crimes in the U.S. SB-1070 has only exploited the public’s frustration with federal government inaction and played to their worst instincts.
Andrea Nill: Pierce isn’t the first lawmaker to go after the children of immigrants. Since taking office, Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA) has tried and failed to pass seven pieces of legislation that would either repeal or reinterpret the 14th Amendment’s definition of citizenship. Most recently, Bilbray took his anti-14th Amendment crusade to the state-level, backing the Taxpayer Revolution’s “Anchor Baby” reform initiative which sought to limit the rights and benefits of the U.S. citizen children of undocumented immigrants by redefining the 14th Amendment’s jurisdiction.
Andrea Christina Nill: Perhaps the most damning evidence that the law hasn’t really changed is the fact that its main sponsor, state Sen. Russell Pearce (R) admitted himself that the new wording won’t alter how the law is enforced. The changes also do not address the fact that the new law is likely unconstitutional on the grounds that it allows the state to regulate immigration — a power which the Constitution explicitly assigns to the federal government.
After Arizona passed what has been described as the most draconian immigration bill in the history of the United States, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D) Arizona, urged organizations to refrain from using Arizona as a convention site and urged them to refrain from spending their dollars in the state of Arizona until Arizona turns the clock forward and joins the rest of the union.
Andrea Christina Nill: Wonk Room recently obtained an email written by Kris Kobach, a lawyer at the Immigration Reform Law Institute — the group which credits itself with writing the bill — to Arizona state Sen. Russell Pierce (R), urging him to include language that will allow police to use city ordinance violations such as “cars on blocks in the yard” as an excuse to “initiate quieries” in light of the “lawful contact” deletion
Andrea Christina NIll: Michael Hethmon, general counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) — which helped draft the language of SB-1070 — has stated that he has been “approached by lawmakers from four other states who have asked for advice on how they can do the same thing.” Hethmon boasts that “what’s happening in Arizona just didn’t pop out of nowhere. It’s the latest step in a fairly deliberate process.”
Michelle Waslin: However, the timing and tone-deafness of this action could not have been worse. ICE has a history of conducting raids just as state or local governments are contemplating critical immigration-related policies. At best, the action left the impression that ICE wants to influence those policy decisions; at worst ICE left the public with the impression that local law enforcement is the same thing as an ICE officer.