In striking down much of Arizona’s immigration law but keeping a provision that allows police officers to question suspected undocumented immigrants, the Supreme Court left the one part of S.B.1070 that has more to do with actual American citizens than immigrants. The state of Arizona — or any state, for that matter — has the legal authority to identify lawbreakers within its borders. But as an American citizen, I should not become the unwitting victim of the state’s enforcement methods. My dark skin, dark features and shaved head shouldn’t represent some kind of bull’s-eye on my back for police officers. Criminals, interestingly enough, look just like everybody else. The resemblance is uncanny!
I have a legal right to be in this country, just like every other citizen. Civil government was created for defense, not offense — namely, to defend the rights of its citizens. In that sense, it’s better to let 1,000 undocumented immigrants walk free than to violate the rights of one U.S. citizen, because if our government can violate our rights on a regular basis, then it’s not our government.
So, the Supreme Court killed most of the Arizona law, but left the heart of it intact. Killing that legislative vampire — to defend the rights of Latino male citizens — is the reason the fight must continue.
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