Washington, D.C.—The Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in Arizona v. United States, a dispute over the legality of the immigration law known as “SB 1070.” More than any matter in recent history, the case involves a range of important questions regarding the role that states may play in the enforcement of federal immigration law. The Court’s decision will likely affect not only the future of SB 1070, but the fate of other state immigration laws being challenged in court and the odds of similar laws being passed around the country.
This action is more than just a misguided attempt by the state to assume responsibility for immigration policy; S.B. 1070 represents legally sanctioned racial intimidation. By targeting certain groups of people living within the state, the Arizona law amounts to an ethnically divisive and deeply hostile social policy. It raises the specter of states treating people differently based solely on their appearance rather than on their actions. And it does so at a time when the face of our nation is changing dramatically, and ethnic diversity is becoming the norm—not just in isolated urban pockets but also throughout the country. By 2040 the country is projected to no longer have a single ethnic majority.
See the Center for American Progress’ in-depth report on this matter for more details.