SB 1070: Opponents of Arizona's Anti-Immigrant Law Proclaim the Fight is Not Over

Danny Ortega 1.jpg
Danny Ortega, longtime activist and Phoenix attorney, speaks Monday during a post-Supreme Court ruling on SB 1070.
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Three down, one to go.

The fight is not over in Arizona.

Report instances of racial profiling.

Those are among the messages coming from leaders within the local Latino community who gathered on the State Capitol lawn Monday morning following the U.S. Supreme Court decision on SB 1070.

Community activists will continue to fight, they say, against the "papers please" provision of Arizona's anti-immigrant law left on the table when the Supreme Court rendered its long-awaited ruling this morning.

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Arizona Senator Steve Gallardo
Danny Ortega, an attorney and longtime activist in Phoenix, urges people in the community to report instances of racial profiling -- which opponents of the harsh Arizona law will have to prove in order for the Supreme Court to hear arguments again regarding the remaining provision.

"The court has given us the opportunity to come forward with evidence, to prove this law should be preempted, and we will do so," he says. "For all the people who believe that, in any way, they have been racially profiled, or discriminated against by the police in the enforcement of ... 1070, call [1-855-RESPETO]. We need to know who you are."

Read more about the Supreme Court ruling, with updates.

In a nutshell, the court has shot down three of the four provisions in Arizona's law. Justices rejected the notion that Arizona can criminalize undocumented immigrants who work in the state and who don't carry federal registration documents. They also didn't like the provision in which Arizona could allow cops to make arrests without warrants based on their "reasonable suspicions" that an immigrant -- legal or not -- committed a crime that would get them tossed from the country.

A fourth provision mandating that state and local cops check an individual's immigration status during a "lawful stop," as long as they reasonably suspect that person is unlawfully present in the United States, remains standing. At least, it does for now -- pending a review of whether the remaining provision actually does provoke racial profiling, as opponents of SB 1070 say it will.

State Senator Steve Gallardo, who represents southwest Phoenix, says the Supreme Court sends a "loud message" to the governor and members of the Legislature: "You have overstepped your boundaries. You have gone too far when it comes to trying to deal with illegal immigration in Arizona."

He pokes fun at a press release Governor Jan Brewer issued this morning, claiming victory at the Supreme Court even though three of the four provisions that Brewer and proponents of SB 1070 have spent more than $3 million defending have been struck down.

"She is claiming victory -- victory for the rule of law," Gallard says. "Well, her version of the rule of law has just been struck down as unconstitutional."

Ortega notes there are other lawsuits pending against the Arizona law that challenge its constitutionality.

"There is unfinished business," he says, adding that it goes beyond the remaining provision of SB 1070 and involves "fixing a broken immigration system."

"I would say this to all government agencies: With power comes responsibility. And that responsibility is to treat everyone equally under the law. We respect the Supreme Court's decision ... but it ain't over yet," he says. "To the Latino community, and the allies of the Latino community, I say one thing: This should never, ever happen again. This should never happen again! And the only way we're going to see to it, is for us to get out and vote."


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