Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Profiling's enabler: High court ruling underpins Arizona immigration law

In an op/ed in the Washington Post, Jack Chin and I look at the racial profiling promoted by Arizona's SB 1070 and trace its roots to U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

As with many op/eds on immigration, the comments posted on the Washington Post website (which are nothing compared to those on Fox News' Greta Van Susteren's blog, which reposted the op/ed) are, to be polite, entertaining.  Here is one that does not include pejoratives, attacks on Chicana/o Studies, etc. but also does not seem to be connected with the op/ed that we wrote: 

"If these two have there way we could just as well close down the Border Patrol and open the border with Mexico. There would be no defense to the illegals other than actually observing them crossing the border. Any of you who live anywhere near the border know that the Border Patrol opperates as many as 200 miles north of the border. The Supreme Court, or at least a majority, won't allow that. But I suspect Sotomayor, as well as all latino politicans and leaders, will support the author's views. They all want an open border at least in so far as latinos are involved. If they have their way the US will soon be Mexico or at least South LA."

Here is a comment that reveals all-too-much about what animates the debate over immigration to the modern United States:

"Oh give me a home,

Where no brown people roam

Where no queers no liberals play

Where seldom is heard

An accented word

And we all worship Jesus all day"

No, I did not conjure this up myself.  Look at the comments on the Post website of your are a doubter.

And here's a memorable comment attacking the President on the GretaWire blog:

"when you speak about Illegal, how can Barry Soetoro aka Barack Hussein Obama expect Mex illegals to show Documentation, Barry is sitting in our Oval, where is his Documentation Barack hussein Obamas Kenya Original long form Birth Cert & Barrys History 1964 to 2010 School Records all in Barry's name age 5 Pelosi provided Indonesian School reg Barry Soetoro age 5 Citizenship Indonesia Religion Muslim. No Vetting (Raciest) 2010 Demand the Usurpers Documentation for President of USA #1 Illegal in USA Indonesia/Britsh USA Naturalborn Citizen NO!"

Some bloggers and commenters seemed surprised about the fact that racial profiling has been sanctioned by the U.S. Supreme Court.  I guess that I am surprised that anyone is surprised because I have been writing about racial profiling in immigraton enforcement, criminal law enforcement, and the "war on terror" for many years.  Most recently:

How Racial Profiling in America Became the Law of the Land: United States v. Brignoni-Ponce and Whren v. United States and the Need for Truly Rebellious Lawyering, 98 Georgetown Law Journal 1005 (2010).

Other pieces include:

The Case Against Race Profiling in Immigration Enforcement, 78 Washington University Law Quarterly 675 (2000).

Racial Profiling After September 11: The Department of Justice’s 2003 Guidelines, 50 Loyola Law Review 67 (2004).

The Case for African American and Latina/o Cooperation in Challenging Race Profiling in Law Enforcement, 55 Florida Law Review 341 (2003).

Race, Civil Rights, and Immigration Law After September 11, 2001: The Targeting of Arabs and Muslims, 58 NYU Annual Survey of American Law 295 (2002).



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