Our VoiceImmigrationNews & Politics

After the Gavel – Anti-Immigrant Groups Respond to SB 1070 Ruling


MJ Olahafa • Aug 06, 2010

The wrestling match between the Department of Justice and the State of Arizona ended with a bang – literally – on July 28 when Judge Susan Bolton gave her ruling over the controversial SB 1070 law, merely hours before it was supposed to go into effect.

The law, nicknamed ‘papers, please’, has caused quite a stir since it passed on the state level a few months ago because it called for racial profiling and the mistreatment of immigrants. This is not a very surprising fact considering that the anti-immigrant organization FAIR [Federation for American Immigration Reform] crafted SB1070 through its legal arm IRLI [Immigration Reform Law Institute].

FAIR was founded by John Tanton, a white nationalist who has single-handedly orchestrated the anti-immigrant movement through a web of controversial organizations.

On July 29, 2010, SB1070 still went into effect, but with a few adjustments. Parts deemed unconstitutional by Judge Bolton were put on hold, including sections that require police officers to check a person’s immigration status when there was ‘reasonable doubt’ that they might be in the country illegally. And although Judge Bolton’s ruling didn’t come as a complete surprise, it still sparked indignation on the anti-immigrant side.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and State Senator Russell Pearce have already filed an appeal and are fully prepared to take the case before the US Supreme Court in order for the law to pass in its entirety. Pearce and IRLI’s Kris Kobach are the architects behind the controversial law.

Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), an anti-immigrant group that has ties to white supremacists, asserted that Judge Bolton “sided with illegal aliens against the American public.” The statement continued, “It is a sad day in America, when part of our own government has turned against the American public on behalf of invaders.”

ALIPAC’s president William Gheen has urged Americans to “remain calm.”

Refusing to remain calm, NumbersUSA has been advocating that if passed, the SAVE Act and the CLEAR Act would effectively counter Judge Bolton’s ruling, and has been telling supporters to pressure their congressmen into signing them. NumbersUSA is another Tanton-created group whose Executive Director Roy Beck has admitted speaking at the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens gathering in 1997.

Across the board, disappointment has been the main reaction to Judge Bolton’s ruling on SB1070. Only FAIR has – unsuccessfully – tried to put a positive spin on it releasing a statement that said:

“Although the court enjoined important provisions of the law, it also cleared the way for numerous provisions of SB 1070 to take effect Thursday. Judge Bolton flatly rejecting the Obama administration’s contention that immigration enforcement is exclusively a federal matter.  Now, Arizonans can move forward and focus their efforts on the remaining core issues.”

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