What’s Bad for Arizona is Bad for America

Jill Garvey • Jun 25, 2012

Arizona’s attempts to legalize racism through laws like SB-1070 and its ban on ethnic studies have devastated the state’s communities, its image, and its economy. Many have argued, including the Department of Justice, that SB-1070 is unconstitutional. Today, the Supreme Court largely agreed, striking down most of the law’s provisions but upholding its racial profiling provision.

The Court left room for future challenges to the racial profiling component, known as “2(b),” and the Obama Administration immediately ended cooperation with Arizona under the federal government’s controversial 287(g) program. Doing so strikes a definitive blow to the anti-immigrant movement’s efforts in Arizona.

Although groups like FAIR, NumbersUSA, and Center for Immigration Studies are putting on a brave face – FAIR’s President Dan Stein called the ruling “an important victory for the people of Arizona…” – this is clearly not what they were hoping for.

Then again, maybe the racial profiling provision is all that anti-immigrant leaders actually care about. One thing’s for sure: it’s not surprising that a movement founded by a white nationalist boasts racial profiling as “victory.”

Notwithstanding, the biggest loser among said leaders is surely Kris Kobach, the legal mind behind the racist SB-1070 and many of its copycats. Somewhere, undoubtedly, Kobach is gnashing his teeth in frustration – the law he authored and championed has been reduced to fragments that together underscore what will come to be recognized as his most blatant – and expensive – failure to date.

This makes it much harder for anti-immigrant hardliners to spread the hate they so carefully sowed in Arizona. Harder, but not impossible.

Now, more than ever, is the time to fight against similar laws in other states. Many states are turning away from bills that copy Arizona’s and Alabama’s, but others are still considering extreme anti-immigrant measures of their own. Read today’s post to learn more about what can be done to stop them.

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