Will U.S. Supreme Court Uphold Arizona’s Racist Immigration Law?

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[Speaking Truth To Power]

Next month’s anticipated Supreme Court ruling, of Arizona’s controversial immigration bill, will be indeed important because of the issue’s seriousness and its political implications for the 2012 Presidential Elections.

Will the court’s decision uphold the racism embedded in this bigoted piece of legislation?

Currently, in the Supreme Court case of Arizona v. United States, justices are weighing the merits of Arizona’s immigration law—especially, with regard to questions of its constitutionality, and conflict with federal government immigration policies. President Obama’s White House has characterized Arizona’s S.B.1070 state immigration law as an impediment to, and misappropriation of, existing federal immigration procedures.
“It is the national government that has ultimate responsibility to regulate the treatment of aliens while on American soil,” said U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. “because it is the nation as a whole, not any single state, that must respond to the international consequence of such treatment.”

Mr. Verrilli is arguing the government’s case before the Supreme Court. A ruling is slated for late June, during the unfolding presidential campaign.
However, others argue that because Arizona is a border state special considerations relative to seriousness of immigration must be taken into account.

“Arizona and its 370-mile border are a conduit for rampant illegal entries and cross-border smuggling,” said Arizona attorney Paul Clement. “The public safety and economic strains that this places on Arizona and its residents have created an emergency situation…”  Mr. Clement, a former U.S. Solicitor General during George W. Bush’s presidency, is representing the State of Arizona.

Ever since Arizona’s S.B.1070 became law, controversy has ensued with many—especially in minority communities—accusing the creators of this legislation of racism. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed the bill into law after it was proposed by former Republican Arizona State Senator Russell Pierce.

Several provisions of the law have come under attack including one requiring Arizona police officers to ask those they stop—if the officers have “reasonable suspicion”—for their citizenship papers. Another provision further criminalizes the undocumented—who decide to look for work. Many in Arizona, and across the country, have attacked the bill for promoting racial politics.

Some experts believe the Supreme Court may be about to vote in favor of the State of Arizona—for political reasons—rather than judicial ones. The existing Supreme Court is, largely, viewed as more conservative than past courts. And, charges of partisan politics being enacted into law have increased since the controversial ruling in the Citizens United Case, which is viewed as a boon for Republican politicians and the business barons lining their pockets. Moreover, with Justice Elena Kagan’s recusal—because of her former position as U.S. Solicitor General—the court will have one less “liberal” judge.

Shouldn’t all the “conservative” judges on the Supreme Court recuse themselves too? Ironically, haven’t the conservative Supreme Court justices engaged in the very “judicial activism” Republicans used to bellyache about? Haven’t Republican nominees like Justice Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts—along with Antonin Scalia and the morally challenged Uncle Clarence Thomas—engaged in “judicial activism” to facilitate the Republican, or “conservative” agenda?

It’s bad enough these people are perverting the “rule of law” whenever it suits them. But isn’t it dangerous they do so while stroking the flames of intolerance? Aren’t laws like S.B. 1070 created to excite, and incite prejudiced passions—while diverting the attention of many Americans to the really pressing problems?

Many people are angry in America. They have a multiplicity of reasons to be. The country is reeling from high unemployment, raising debt, shrinking wages—and a body politic that is more attuned to the whims of the greedy one percent that already gorges America’s wealth. How can those claiming to care about America legislate lowering wages for teachers and transportation workers, while they refuse to fairly tax the rich?

The last decade was one of economic and ethical disaster—created, primarily, by Republicans and their wealthy benefactors. A serious debate is warranted about whether we want an America that serves only the few—while treating the many as inconsequential. But that debate is evaded by most politicians in this country—from either party.

Yet, Republicans are especially awful in this regard. The modest tax modifications, being proposed by President Obama and Democrats, are routinely condemned by Republicans. Lately, it has become fashionable to attack those advocating for economic fairness. Now, we hear holier-than-thou hypocrites on Capitol Hill, pontificating about the “politics of envy.”

But while Republicans refuse to engage in any semblance of honest discussion regarding the economic exploitation—perpetrated by elites in this country—they give us hyperventilating hysterics whenever the topic of immigration arises. Apparently, Republicans have no problem promoting prejudice. The immigration issue—like any topic involving African-Americans—is used to muddy the political waters and divert the attention of masses of working-class White Americans.

How often have we heard Republicans, and their supporters, claim they aren’t prejudiced against immigrants, but, are just opposed to those who break the country’s laws? To hear them tell it, they just don’t want people violating the laws of the United States. This excuse is pure nonsense.

If these pretenders have such an affinity for upholding the law, why did they vote the Bush White House back into office for a second term—after their criminal malfeasance of historically epic proportions? Moreover, why haven’t they called for the prosecution of George W. Bush—like infamous California Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi did in his book—and other lawbreakers like: Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld? If they hate lawbreakers so much why aren’t they calling for the heads of those who committed war crimes for profit while making Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay synonymous with torture?

No this immigration debate has nothing to do with law breaking. It has to do with the prejudice, racism and dividing people. The immigration issue will continue to be utilized by Republicans because their base is filled with far too many racist reactionaries. Republicans are now scapegoating immigrants—and Muslims—like they scapegoat African-Americans. Some claim they’re only against illegal immigrants. However, isn’t the primary worry of these folks the darkening demographics that they see confronting them?

Unfortunately, these bigots see America transforming before their eyes. This reality petrifies them uncovering their prejudice. If a Black man now sits in the White House, what other reserved white privilege will they lose next? Therefore, we can expect to see, and hear, more race-baiting tactics against immigrants—and African-Americans—as the 2012 Presidential Elections draws nearer.
"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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