SB 1070's Third Anniversary: Arizona's War on the Brown Continues
Anti-SB 1070 demonstrators, arriving at Phoenix's ICE offices this morning
Though it feels like a decade or more, it's only been three years since Senate Bill 1070, Arizona's ethnic cleansing legislation, went into effect, stoking the fires of ethnic discord, clobbering an already weak state economy, and putting Sand Land in the running for the most racist state west of the Mississippi, if not the entire Union.
This morning, the civil rights group Puente led a march from Steele Indian School Park to the offices of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Central Avenue, near McDowell Road. The demonstration was both a protest of the nefarious effects of the statute, as well as a rally marking three years of resistance to 1070 by Latinos and their allies.
Around 200 demonstrators carried signs demanding an end to the Obama administration's deportations and the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border. They chanted, "Stop 1070/We will not comply," and, "Being brown is not a crime," and peacefully assembled before the ICE building following the march.
Three years ago to the day, Phoenix was the site of massive civil disobedience, Arizona was being boycotted by groups around the country, and the most egregious parts of 1070 just had been enjoined by federal Judge Susan R. Bolton.
What remained of the statute formally made "attrition through enforcement" the public policy of the state.
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It would be another two years till the U.S. Supreme Court would rule on this odious legislation, upholding much of Bolton's order, save for her injunction against section 2(b), which requires law enforcement officers to inquire as to the immigration status of someone already stopped, if they have reasonable suspicion to believe someone is in the country illegally.
The justices reaffirmed the federal government's supreme authority over immigration, and left the door open to an as-applied challenge of the law, if it could be demonstrated that 1070 was being used to violate the civil rights of those halted.
To that end, the ACLU of Arizona has begun a campaign called United Against SB 1070, with its own phone app and statewide hotline, so that people can report instances of racial profiling or other civil rights abuses.