Supreme Court Decision on Arizona Will Divide Nation

Supreme Court Decision on Arizona Will Divide Nation
Carla Chavarria,"SB1070"

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wasn't merely skeptical; he appeared contemptuous of the U.S. Department of Justice's argument trying to stop Arizona's cops from deporting undocumented Mexicans.

"But if, in fact, somebody who does not belong in this country is in Arizona, Arizona has no power?" asked the incredulous Scalia. "...Are you objecting to harassing the — the people who have no business being here? Surely you're not concerned about harassing them?"

God forbid.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signing SB 1070 into law.
Stephen Lemons
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signing SB 1070 into law.

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The U.S. Supreme Court will rule this month on legislation that forces police to scrutinize Latinos, both immigrants and citizens. President Barack Obama has deported 1.5 million people. And 41 states are attempting to limit the voting rights of young people and minorities. In this week's special feature, "Crossing the Line," Village Voice Media offers a selection of viewpoints and artwork to honor the passing of the American dream.

Days of Rage: Phoenix-based Village Voice Media columnist Stephen Lemons suggest that civil disobedience might provide the answer to the immigration debate.

Welcome Back, Jim Crow: From Miami, a report from Chuck Strouse about how new voting laws might well take out Obama this fall.

Love the Beans, Hate the Beaner: "Ask a Mexican" columnist Gustavo Arellano notes that Americans' love of south-of-the-border cuisine is at odds with our politics.

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Scalia wasn't the only judge to take a disparaging stance.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts concluded an observation by noting, "It seems to me that the federal government just doesn't want to know who's here illegally or not."

With these comments the United States Supreme Court signaled that its expected ruling this month will, in significant part, validate Arizona's Senate Bill 1070.

If that happens, being brown will permit cops across America to ask: Which brown are you?


A journalist I work with, Monica Alonzo, grew up on the hardscrabble west side of Phoenix with brown skin.

Although she's an American, something as simple as stopping to fill her gas tank could prompt a cruel refrain: "Go back to Mexico."

She remembers the white school board members who voted themselves out of paying taxes to support the mostly Latino school in the town of El Mirage, Arizona. Her cousin was routinely pulled over if he ventured into a neighboring white community.

But these are memories, not complaints. This treatment did not stop Monica Alonzo. She made herself into an award-winning investigative reporter.

Today, she buys gas where she chooses.

She put the petty meanness behind her and made something of herself.

But SB 1070 changed everything.

In Arizona, brown people, citizen and immigrant, must now prove their papers are in order. We sic badges and dogs on people of color. Sheriff Joe Arpaio's men wear ski masks and arm themselves with automatic weapons to stop Mexicans with cracked windshields. Families are separated, with parents deported and children left to fend for themselves. Those who remain are terrorized.

After one Arpaio sweep through the town of Guadalupe, children were too frightened to attend their Catholic confirmation ceremonies lest relatives be arrested.

Like the pre-Civil War era of free and slave states, America is about to divide along color lines. And this time around Missouri won't be a "gray" state.

Missouri is one of sixteen states that have filed amicus briefs urging the Supreme Court to support SB 1070. And while the Show-Me State has yet to establish an immigration bill similar to Arizona's — as six other states have — it's not for lack of trying. Missouri legislators have twice filed bills mirroring Arizona's. The most recent, SB 590, died last session, but it would have required public elementary and secondary schools to check the immigration status of students (and their parents) and mandated that police check the citizenship of any possible immigrant they stop, regardless of whether an arrest was made.

Six states already have a version of Arizona's bill and are awaiting the ruling for implementation. In all, sixteen states filed amicus briefs urging the Supreme Court to support SB 1070.

Where once we depended upon the federal government to protect minorities from fire hoses and segregated schoolhouses named Booker T. Washington or George Washington Carver, this month the Supreme Court is poised to tell us how far local cops can go to detain brown people.

As if the federal government hadn't gone far enough.

In fact, President Obama has deported 1.5 million Latinos, more than any other president. Such a massive displacement of humanity does not come without brutality.

In the first six months of 2011, 46,000 mothers and fathers were shipped back to Mexico and left their children in America. And more than 20,000 other parents were ordered out but have yet to depart. Roughly 22 percent of all deportees were forced to abandon children — children who are American citizens.

What SB 1070 does is criminalize the undocumented. The law forces all police officers to ascertain a person's immigration status whenever a cop interacts with a brown person. Lights on a license plate too dim? A call about domestic violence? If an officer harbors any suspicion, he or she must ask for proof of citizenship. And if a cop doesn't do that, any citizen can sue the cop for not taking deportation seriously. To protect against lawsuits, the cautious cop must question all Latinos.

The stated purpose of SB 1070 is "attrition through enforcement," a chillingly efficient phrase.

How does a cop on the beat tell a Mexican from a Mexican American?

And so, the 74 percent of all Latinos in America who are, in reality, U.S. citizens must be harassed about their origins. Unlike everyone else, they must carry papers.

Why?

Obama sells the roundup of brown people through a program called Secure Communities. The alternative is clear enough.

Have we forgotten that the Irish, Italians, Jews and Cubans generated almost as many mug shots as American dreams?

Polls show that SB 1070 and similar laws in other states are supported by voters at rates between 60 to 70 percent nationally.

In states that have passed laws allowing local law enforcement to hunt the undocumented, the financial impact has been devastating.

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43 comments
Mark K
Mark K

When an American travels to another country and stay beyond the time allowed, they are there illegally and subject to be punished. Just ask the 3 hickers that wandered into Iran. The Fed needs to pass and enforce its immagration laws. My concern isn't why Arizona is passing tough immigration laws, I'm wondering why the others aren't.

James
James

Thank God for conservatism still remaining. Liberals must understand, their beliefs are like a religion, to be practiced and preached at state, county and city levels. Illegal is illegal. Next thing you guys will want is when someone commits a crime, its not really a crime so they dont have to go to jail. Or better yet, commiting a crime means you stay in your house as jail is too 'mean' of a place to put people who VIOLATE THE RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS OF GOOD CITIZENS. Liberalism must die at the federal level... and it will, remember who has guns, thats right, and we will march again...if we have to, to preserve our inalienable rights, and to "live life in the pursuit of happiness".... Happiness is not Liberalism,, its the ability as a human being to make decisions and conform to rules in a community that shares my common beliefs.

Jenna24
Jenna24

I'm Korean. I'm brown. I'm also a U.S. Citizen. My parents came here legally. I'm not afraid of this law. I don't fear being pulled over for a cracked windshield. I have a valid driver's license. They are not coming after you because you are brown, but because you are breaking the law by coming here illegally.

Jenna2
Jenna2

It's really very simple. If you are a citizen of the United States, you probably have a valid driver's license. If someone pulls you over for a cracked windshield (a safety hazard, by the way), you simply pull out your valid driver's license, and even if you are brown like me (I'm Korean), the police can instantly tell that you are a U.S. Citizen. What is so hard about that? They only reason they don't like this law is because they are here illegally, and so they fear being pulled over by the cops. The brown U.S. citizens have nothing to fear from this law.

American Citizen
American Citizen

Again you are Stereo typing hispanics as rapist I see many white folk raping and even killing there spouses aka "Tempe family."

Doorknob
Doorknob

When the libs confiscated the homes and property of Japanese Americans it was OK, but when conservatives want the law enforced, the libs scream racism. How libs get elected is a sign of the mental heath issues we face in this country. From lack of intelligence to being down right crazy, libs just don't get it.

Varied
Varied

Legitimate identification has to be provided upon request anytime you deal with the police no matter what state you live in. You have to provide a certified copy of your birth certificate or resident card and proof of current address to obtain even a non-driver license. A minor has to have guardianship consent to obtain a non-driving ID thru the Department of Motor Vehicles for the purpose of identification. I don’t understand why there is a problem with showing your ID. Inability to provide proof of who you are should then be cause to look further into citizenship status. Schools should require the parents of children attending to obtain an official ID each year. Having a current picture and description of your child is a good thing. There will always be racial profiling, discrimination and illegal immigration. It’s not fair but it is the truth. I hope that the communities who this is affecting will respond with a pride in the law that reinforces WE THE PEOPLE as a free and varied country. There is richness to our diversity which strengthens us a nation. We are a nation of immigrants and a conquered people after all.

Mark Ealick
Mark Ealick

Someone said the same thing about your ancestors about 150 years ago. If not you most of the people posting on here with a caucasian lineage.

Mark Ealick
Mark Ealick

Land of the Free you say? I guess when our ancestors came over it was okay because they where white? The New Colossus Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

DanMfour Colt
DanMfour Colt

Welcome to America. Enter legally, learn our ways, become a citizen, become a productive citizen, pay your fair share of taxes and learn to speak English. If you don't like that or can't abide or live by that...than GTFO...OTHERWISE WELCOME.

Tlb530
Tlb530

Are you kidding me??? I lived in Arizona, in the suburbs of Phoenix, and most of the people I worked with were of Hispanic dissent. The were hard working and law abiding. The police just want to have the ability to check immigration status of the people that are doing something illegal. When you, I or anyone else gets pulled over for a violation or arrested for a crime, we are asked to produce a driver's license or some form of identity. Are you saying that anyone of color should be EXEMPT ?? If I were to get pulled over in Mexico, without anything to prove my identity, I guarantee you that I would be thrown in jail like nobodies business. The police have enough to do in that crime ridden area without harrassing brown" people just for the fun of it. Let's use some commonsense people!!!

Calprint
Calprint

Deport all illegal undocumented aliens residing or working in the United States. Period.

eve online rocks
eve online rocks

rtf trash ,illegals and anchor babies are not our future.libby peice of shit .our own kids are.

Paythepriceasyougo
Paythepriceasyougo

Star of satire; where anybody of any intellect would go to get information: 1) to the snitch down at the corner 2) crappy liberral abusive riverfront bull times 3) internet searching T/F 4) police and FBI files 5) black people 6) hispanic people aka white people 7) church, synagogue, mosques 8) national enquirer 9) the library=== library has lots of periodicals and newspapers from all over the USA, Canada, Mexico, Europe 10) from dreams

Earlhickey63043
Earlhickey63043

Enforce our laws ! It's the presidents jobs to protect our country and people but letting illegals to continue to flow over our borders then trying to stop states who had to take the problem on theirselves is far from doing his job. The least Obama could do is stay out of the way if you're not going to do your job and help out.

augustoperez
augustoperez

Nice sleight of hand in trying to group illegal aliens who are in thier predicament by choices made by themselves, with Jewish victims of the holocaust and others whose pursuit was driven by intrinsinc qualities they were born with. If an illegal alien wants to not be subjected to SB-1070, all he-she needs to do is relocate to a sanctuary state like California, Illinois or New Jersey. We all know what the burden of illegal aliens added to the economy of Arizona... Do any of these quotes get play in the mainstream media???“Go back to Boston! Go back to Plymouth Rock, Pilgrims! Get out! We are the future. You are old and tired. Go on. We have beaten you. Leave like beaten rats. You old white people. It is your duty to die. Through love of having children, we are going to take over.” — Augustin Cebada, Brown Berets

“They’re afraid we’re going to take over the governmental institutions and other institutions. They’re right. We will take them over. We are here to stay.” — Richard Alatorre, Los Angeles City Councilman

“We have an aging white America. They are not making babies. They are dying. The explosion is in our population . . . I love it. They are shitting in their pants with fear. I love it!” — Professor Jose Angel Gutierrez, University of Texas

“Remember 187–proposition to deny taxpayer funds for services to non-citizens–was the last gasp of white America in California.” — Art Torres, Chairman of the California Democratic Party

“We are politicizing every single one of these new citizens that are becoming citizens of this country . . . I gotta tell you that a lot of people are saying, ‘I’m going to go out there and vote because I want to pay them back.’” — Gloria Molina, Los Angeles County Supervisor

“California is going to be a Hispanic state. Anyone who doesn’t like it should leave.” — Mario Obledo, California Coalition of Hispanic Organizations and California State Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under Governor Jerry Brown, also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton

“We are practicing ‘La Reconquista’ in California.” — Jose Pescador Osuna, Mexican Consul General

“We need to avoid a white backlash by using codes understood by Latinos.” — Professor Fernando Guerra, Loyola Marymount University

“The American Southwest seems to be slowly returning to the jurisdiction of Mexico without firing a single shot.” — Excelsior, the national newspaper of Mexico

The Supreme Court seems to be on the cusp of finding for Arizona, and the amnesty lobby is trying to further demonize the fact that Americans want our immigration laws enforced. If you are here illegally, an amnesty would allow you to return to your country and apply for a resident visa without having your illegal stay held against you. crimes like domestic battery, theft, burglary, well, taht's another matter, but what we see the amnesty pimps promote is not really an amnesty, but impunity and a culture of rewarded illegality and corruption. Is this really what we want to encourage as an influence to our culture and community? I should hope not.

James Hodges
James Hodges

So what's your point... Undocumented (aka:ILLEGAL) Aliens are already "CRIMINALIZED" under Federal law. In addition, illegal aliens are not forced to be separated from their children… they choose to be separated from their children, leaving them behind and uncared for… when they don't tell the ICE officers where the children are at…

Paythepriceasyougo
Paythepriceasyougo

Yes it will divide the nation by addressing THE CRIMINAL ACTIVITY OF THE ILLEGALS and their front people, the liberals.

STOP CRIME NOW.

El_amor
El_amor

all you races people are going straigth to hell obama its the wosrt president u.s.a ever had now everything its about skin color you are the worst people from this world we need border protection not people in goverment that cares about skin color screw you all

Natural Born Citizen
Natural Born Citizen

Stop allowing children born of ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS to be naturalized citizens and the ILLEGAL parents won't have to be seperated from their children. They all will be deported.

JWW
JWW

Technically, under United States law, the "undocumented" immigrants are already criminals. The Arizona law doesn't actually criminalize them as much as add extra enforcement to the FEDERAL laws that criminalize them.

Of course, the Arizona law has all kinds of other problems with it, so it's not like it should be enforced either. But, still, these are not legal residents in the first place, so technically any state in the Union is within its rights to kick them out.

Jacquebquique
Jacquebquique

Oh boo hoo! The law is the law. It is the responsibility of the American republic to work with the country of Mexico to solve their problems with the drug cartels. Evidently, the drug cartels are being supported by the Obimini Administration on the road to world socialism. Arizona is only a cog in the war between capitalism and Obama socialism. Missouri, it is stated, has offered an amicus brief to that of Arizona. You don't like the law, then change it. America is not yet a socialist state as espoused by the Obimini Administration and its lap dog of Eric Holder.

Miss_Ann_thrope
Miss_Ann_thrope

You are mixing up the distinction of legal immigrants vs. illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants are breaking the law. We do not owe them an education or healthcare. We do not owe them the same civil rights that are afforded to our citizens or the immigrants who are here legally. You are making this an issue of color - How can a police officer tell whether or not I am a US citizen or from neighboring Canada? It is not about color - is is about illegal vs legal.

Ali Alexander
Ali Alexander

A journalist I work with, Monica Alonzo, grew up on the hardscrabble west side of Phoenix with brown skin.

Although she's an American, something as simple as stopping to fill her gas tank could prompt a cruel refrain: "Go back to Mexico."---------------------I'm an American of Arab ancestry. What do you think I hear a lot of, especially after 9/11? Fact is, 500,000 illegal aliens from Mexico crossing into Arizona gives the citizens of that state every right to be hostile about the failure to enforce our laws and to take it out on people who could quite probably be here illegally, just as in my case, there's a negative association with terrorists. If Hispanics don't like the association, then they should advocate ENFORCEMENT of our laws, rather than claiming that they and theirs are above having to follow the laws of this country.

One of few sane americans left
One of few sane americans left

What does illegal immigrants mean - have we forgotten the definition?

They are not U.S. Citizens. This is for not only Mexicans, but illegal peope from all over the world i.e. Africa, Canada, England, Iran, Iraq, Australia, etc. Mexican can run across the border , have kids who are deemed citizens and run back and forth while they collect welfare, get jobs at lower pay, get free schooling without paying taxes and we are supposed to feel sorry for them. Give me a break! It should have been stopped many many years ago.

Pesos
Pesos

This will never happen so might as well stop having stupid dreams.

Pesos
Pesos

It also treats legal citizens as criminals by automatically assuming they're illegal.

And guess what citizens will be targeted? Yes.. those that "look illegal", "talk illegal", and those who speak Spanish.

Get a grip, are you actually supporting a law that doesn't specify what "reasonable suspicion" means? Too vague, back to the drawing board.

Pesos
Pesos

Obviously you aren't familiar with the law. What SB1070 does is take the Probable cause clause from the Constitution, and replacing it with "Reasonable Suspicion". By doing this, they then have all the freedom to discriminate with the excuse that there was a "Probable cause" under their "Reasonable suspicion" law.

Get a clue.

Ryan
Ryan

And just how, pray tell, are the cops to know which is which? Open your blinders a little bit, it has everything to do with color. Perfectly legal American citizens are going to be harrassed left and right in order to prove their status, simply because of their c o l o r.

Maybe to make it easier we can devise some sort of visual clue to differentiate between the legals and illegals, perhaps force them to wear a patch of sorts.....

Pesos
Pesos

The situation you are going through is called De Facto Segregation. This segregation happens naturally, usually by uneducated people.

What Hispanics are going through is called De Jure segregation. This segregation is enforced by laws, and usually hidden by vague terms, and false promises that it is not racial profiling (no proof, in other words). If the law specifically enforced that racial profiling will not be a means of "Reasonable suspicion", then maybe more Hispanics would support it.

But as it stands, few hispanics will support it.

Pesos
Pesos

Maybe if the immigration system wasn't so screwed up, more people would enter legally rather than illegally. Go ahead and study the system if you don't take my word for it.

I'll give you an example. A friend was born in Mexico to two American citizens. There was a typo in the certificate, so he wasn't given American citizenship. (Jus Sanguinis)

He had to go through the screwed up immigration system, which took 12 years to fix his citizenship. Same senario with another family I know, except they're white. They went through the system and it took 6 months.

I can give you a lot of reasons why the system needs to be fixed, but you should do your own research if you don't take my word.

On a side note. 180 thousand jobs opened up in California after a lot of immigrants left back to their country and legal day laborers (Jornaleros) stopped going through the screwed up immigration process. Tell your anti-immigration friends about it, maybe they will be interested, with this 'high unemployment' thing going on.

Kerry Davis
Kerry Davis

and here in Arizona we have a law that states you MUST speak English while conducting official business, I.E. engaging with law enforcement, so there's your PC.

JWW
JWW

Did you happen to read the portion of my post where I said the Arizona law has problems, and shouldn't be enforced, or did you stop reading after the first paragraph?

Kerry Davis
Kerry Davis

and if you don't like our laws you can leave the state of Arizona, the communist country of California would love too have some more wetbacks,so go there get on I10 or I40 and head west.

Paythepriceasyougo
Paythepriceasyougo

Look at the crime rate in the USA. Perfectly legal citizens are harassed worstly than the criminal illegal immigrants.It is terrible, by people like you, that protest racial profiling by the police but criminals both legal and illegal in the USA racial profile 10000x more than the police and YOU ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN.

Miss_Ann_thrope
Miss_Ann_thrope

Really? You mean I am going to be harassed because I am white and Canadians and Europeans are white? Ok then - I will keep my Drivers license handy. It is a small price to pay to weed out the illegal immigrants permeating our society. I am willing to suffer the minor inconvenience of producing verification of my citizenship if it aids in determining who is here legally and who is here illegally.

Why when it involves a "brown" person is it considered harassing? Are only brown people here illegally? Does this law only target Hispanics? Yeah I didn't think so.

I agree with Ali - If Hispanics don't like the association, then they should advocate ENFORCEMENT of our laws, rather than claiming that they and theirs are above having to follow the laws of this country.

Paythepriceasyougo
Paythepriceasyougo

It is not segregation but a means to end hispanic criminal activity in the USA. Obey the laws; stop the illegals who disregard the laws of the USA but when it comes to the laws of their own countries these illegals hand stiffer penalties to illegal immigrants. a billion times harsher than the USA.You are a liar and a crybaby.

Ryan
Ryan

Can you point me in the direction of one case where a caucasion American citizen ever was harrassed about being a suspected foreign national within this country? Just one? Because after a bit of research, I've been having trouble finding any at all within the abundance of stories about actual (non-caucasion) US citizens being mistakenly deported to Latin American countries.

Miss_Ann_thrope
Miss_Ann_thrope

Screwed up or not - we do not owe foreign nationals a place in our country. If you want to live in America do it legally or stay the hell out - we have enough problems with crime in this country. The last thing we need to do is offer citizenship to foreign nationals who do not respect our laws.

No other country in the world treats illegal immigrants better than the USA - if the situation were reversed, I would not qualify for health care or even be allowed to own property in Mexico because I am not a citizen of Mexico.

For the record, I am not anti-immigration. My grandparents were immigrants - I am however anti-illegal aliens and anti-criminal. Also - I am calling BS - 180,000 jobs did not just open up in California - quit making crap up

Pesos
Pesos

Maybe if the immigration system wasn't so screwed up, more people would enter legally rather than illegally. Go ahead and study the system if you don't take my word for it.

I'll give you an example. A friend was born in Mexico to two American citizens. There was a typo in the certificate, so he wasn't given American citizenship. (Jus Sanguinis)

He had to go through the screwed up immigration system, which took 12 years to fix his citizenship. Same senario with another family I know, except they're white. They went through the system and it took 6 months.

I can give you a lot of reasons why the system needs to be fixed, but you should do your own research if you don't take my word.

On a side note. 180 thousand jobs opened up in California after a lot of immigrants left back to their country and legal day laborers (Jornaleros) stopped going through the screwed up immigration process. Tell your anti-immigration friends about it, maybe they will be interested, with this 'high unemployment' thing going on.

Pesos
Pesos

So if a law passed saying all police have to stop anyone that looks like a terrorist under "reasonable suspicion", then it would also be alright?

What would be your excuse? It is not segregation but a means to end Arab criminal activity in the USA.

 
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