Judge Bolton’s ruling today is only one step toward rectifying the situation but should not be taken as a victory. It is LUPE’s position that we do not have an illegal immigrant problem, but rather a legal immigration problem, because the federal government has not provided enough avenues for immigrants to enter this country legally. SB1070, Fremont, Neb. and similar legislation are symptoms of that problem.
A partial victory at best, the federal judge kept the parts of the law that require local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws and that create misdemeanors crimes for harboring and transporting illegal immigrants. This is not progress. Instead of taking many major steps backwards, we have taken a few major steps backward.
In a statement released just hours ago, Pablo Alvarado of the National Day Laborer Organizing Networks stated, “The partial and temporary blocking of a law that should’ve never existed is welcome but in no way a victory. The conditions that created SB1070 remain and are only worsened by the decision today.
“After today, this decision converts the Reverend driving a church van of his congregants into a criminal. It renders the day laborer repairing your neighborhood a criminal under 1070. The mother driving her daughter to the hospital could be considered a criminal under this decision. Cities who seek to protect the residents that make them function will be punished. The sections that go into effect tomorrow are intolerable insults to our humanity and dangerous precedents for law enforcement. We will not stop until real justice comes to Arizona.”
According to the statement, released jointly by PuenteAZ and NDLON, “A split decision only serves to split our communities. There is no partial solution to denials of our humanity. There is no partial solution to hatred.”
The bleeding has stopped but the wound stays. Justice will not be served until the whole law is thrown out, no other state has to face such discriminatory and immoral laws, and the dignity is restored to the immigrant communities all along the border and throughout the nation by ending 287(g) and Secure Communities, and enacting federal comprehensive immigration reform. Only then will the wound heal.
La lucha seguirá. Si se puede.
More info from Puente AZ and NDLON:
Parts struck down:
• The portion of the law that requires an officer make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested if there’s reasonable suspicion they’re in the country illegally.
• The portion that creates a crime of failure to apply for or carry “alien-registration papers.”
• The portion that makes it a crime for illegal immigrants to solicit, apply for or perform work. (This does not include the section on day laborers.)
• The portion that allows for a warrantless arrest of a person where there is probable cause to believe they have committed a public offense that makes them removable from the United States.
The ruling says that law enforcement still must enforce federal immigration laws to the fullest extent of the law when SB 1070 goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. Individuals will still be able to sue an agency if they adopt a policy that restricts such enforcement. Bolton did not halt the part of the law that creates misdemeanors crimes for harboring and transporting illegal immigrants.