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Two Year Waiting Game: SCOTUS to Hear Arguments on SB 1070 This Week

Imagine 2050 Staff • Apr 24, 2012

On Wednesday, the US Supreme Court will hear arguments on Arizona’s contentious anti-immigrant law, SB 1070. Mired in controversy since its introduction in 2010, SB 1070 was, at the time of its passing, the harshest anti-immigrant legislation in the nation. Several measures were summarily challenged by the US Department of Justice, including those that provide for arrests and penalties under the so-called “reasonable suspicion” of being an undocumented immigrant. This, of course, amounts to nothing more than racial profiling, and the DOJ contends that it is, in fact, unconstitutional.

Needless to say, nativists in this country have been holding their breath over the outcome of the long-awaited Supreme Court case; many see it as gauge for the government’s receptivity to harsh anti-immigrant measures. Seeing as much of the state-level anti-immigrant legislation, including the ruthless HB 56 from Alabama, is modeled on SB 1070, there might be something to this line of thinking.

Now, the usual suspects in the anti-immigrant movement have mobilized to throw some weight behind the law. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) published a brief summarizing the arguments from either side; FAIR has also used the hearing as a rallying cry for its membership, and has started a new initiative called “TRUE Immigration Reform” to attract conservative activists to its cause.

Other groups have planned events around the hearing date. The Greater Phoenix Tea Party is holding a rally outside the Supreme Court on Wednesday, and it has been reported that the American Council for Immigration Reform (ANCIR) will be assisting. Both groups have gained a reputation for their stalwart nativism.

The Supreme Court’s decision on SB 1070 will obviously be a landmark, and it is not a surprise that the anti-immigrant movement has paid it so much attention. More on this as the story develops.

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