On Tuesday, a federal judge cleared the way for Section 2B of Senate Bill 1070 that requires Arizona law enforcement officials check the immigration status of anyone they encounter and believe is undocumented. The law is set to go in to affect immediately, but civil-rights and advocacy groups warn Section 2B — popularly recognized as the SB 1070’s “show me your papers” provision- - will likely result in racial profiling.
The decision came in a three-paragraph ruling drafted jointly by the U.S. Department of Justice and lawyers for Arizona and Judge Susan Bolton, the same judge who blocked Section 2B in July 2010.
“Arizonans now wait to see what the law will mean for their day-to-day lives. It’s likely that the 2B’s implementation will be uneven throughout the state between law enforcement agencies, with some jurisdictions like Joe Arpaio’s Maricopa county using 2B to justify it’s preexisting practices of racial profiling and other counties taking a more restrained approach,” said Seth Freed Wessler, Colorlines.com’s investigative reporter. “What’s certain is that advocates will be watching and lawsuits and community organizing will continue challenging SB 1070. This fight is for from over.”
After the ruling was issued, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer celebrated the decision, referring to provision 2B as the “heart” of SB1070.
“Today is the day we have awaited for more than two years: the injunction against the heart of SB 1070 has been lifted, in accordance with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June. With SB 1070 in effect, state and local officers will be empowered to inquire about an individual’s immigration status, but only as part of a legal stop or detention and when the officer has reasonable suspicion,” Brewer said in a written statement.
How the law will be enforced is still unclear and immigrant rights that worry about racial profiling are calling on the President.
“President Obama has the moral responsibility and legal authority to to protect the people of Arizona, and we expect he will do everything within his power to pevent the discrimination, punishment, and suffering that will escalate under SB1070’s implementation. He must immediately instruct DHS and ICE to cut off Arizona’s access and to refuse to deport SB1070’s victims,” Pablo Alvarado, the director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, said in a statement.
An ACLU representative told Colorlines.com they plan to continue to challenge SB 1070.
“Section 2(B) of SB1070 has opened the door to racial profiling, wrongful detentions and arrests, putting everyone’s civil rights at risk. Law enforcement resources are wasted when people are targeted based on their skin color, and our core American values of fairness and equality are compromised. The ACLU will continue to fight against SB1070,” said Omar Jadwat, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Right Project.