ATLANTA, Ga., (June 25, 2012) – House Democrats are disappointed about the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the “papers please” provision of Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070, but are pleased that federal preemption rights were upheld.
In a split decision, the Supreme Court ruled this morning that Arizona can require state and local police to check the immigration status of those they have stopped.
Today’s narrow and limited ruling upheld section 2b by the thinnest of threads, and will undoubtedly be challenged as soon as law enforcement attempts to apply this ruling to the real world.
House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams is particularly disturbed by the Court's tepid support of this provision and believes that the clause will invite racial profiling.
"The Supreme Court today issued a troubling ruling that encourages racial profiling, and we must remain vigilant that this does not happen in Georgia,” said Leader Abrams. “We are very disappointed by the "show your papers" provision, which returns us to a terrible time in our state's history. Human rights must be protected for all - regardless of race or status. This ruling allows racial profiling to resume in Georgia. The fact that it is now legal does not make it right, and we call upon the Governor and the GOP leadership to repeal this disturbing trend in our state's lawmaking."
“Today's Supreme Court ruling reflects the real concerns the justices have about green lighting racial profiling even as they narrowly upheld section 2b. This isn't over in the courts by any stretch, and we'll continue fighting in Georgia to repeal HB 87,” said Representative Pedro Marin.
The Progressive States Network believes that the provision undermines public safety and results in higher costs for cash-strapped states.
“Law enforcement depends on building trust in communities,” added Progressive State’s Suman Raghunathan. “When the criminal justice system, with its limited budget and capacity, is burdened with the time and cost-intensive process of apprehending, detaining, and deporting undocumented immigrants, we all become less safe.”
Leader Abrams is adamant that Georgia should not follow in Arizona’s footsteps.
“The court may have left the door slightly open with today's ruling, but we in Georgia must oppose laws that hurt agriculture, stifle tourism and break up families,” said Leader Abrams.
“Our state has other pressing priorities - we need money for education and economic development - not ill-conceived immigration enforcement programs. Today's ruling reminds us of the need to make our voices heard this November at the ballot box. The only way we can win the long-term fight for working families is by engaging in democracy and in the electoral process.”
More information about the Georgia House Democratic Caucus can be found at www.gahousedems.com.