When she heard the Supreme Court decision upholding the “reasonable suspicion” (a k a “papers, please”) provisions of Arizona’s SB-1070, immigrant rights activist Isabel Garcia saw the Arizonification of the nation. “We’ve been fighting local ‘reasonable suspicion’ laws here in Arizona for decades,” said Garcia, a Pima County public defender and co-chair of Coalición de Derechos Humanos, an organization dedicated to defending immigrants and documenting immigrant deaths in the desert. “Here in Tucson ‘reasonable suspicion’ has proven a very weak and vague legal standard that is responsible for lots of family separations, enormous suffering -- and death. Now, SB-1070 is going to haunt those of you in the rest of the country.”
President Obama’s allies in the immigrant rights movement view the Supreme Court decision to strike down three of the four provisions of SB-1070 as a reason to celebrate and to rally voters in the 2012 presidential race. Garcia does not. In fact, she and many immigration activists throughout the country view the Court’s decision as a threat to the civil liberties of immigrants and non-immigrants alike. They fear how the decision makes “Juan Crow” the law of the land.
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