The decision made four main points clear:
- Police cannot arrest without a warrant.
- Being undocumented is not a state crime.
- Accepting work as an undocumented person is not illegal.
- Police can demand "papers" if they suspect a person is undocumented.
The fourth point, officially known as section 2B, is a decision to uphold racial profiling, because there are no guidelines defining what constitutes suspicion of being undocumented. This policy has only been upheld in relation to the Arizona law, but other states, such as Alabama, have similar laws on the books. Hopefully, other states will see how expensive and unnecessary are programs that promote racial profiling and other civil rights violations. But thankfully, there was more to the Supreme Court's decision than this terrible news: the Supreme Court struck down three major parts of Arizona immigration law and 287(g) agreements (which deputize local police as immigration enforcement officers) have been suspended.
We cannot allow the institutionalization and legalization of discrimination in America. Congress must consider this when voting on the End Racial Profiling Act and realize that the outcome of that vote should directly reflect this country's core values: justice, freedom, and equality.
It's time that we see some of these values in something other than textbooks and postage stamps. We must demand that lawmakers recognize this growing problem in the United States. It's time to end racial profiling.
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