We knew this was coming, so it didn't raise many heads last week when a federal judge cleared the way for Arizona to begin enforcing its "papers please" provisions in the anti-immigrant law, SB1070, it passed two years ago:
U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled Tuesday afternoon that police officers can begin enforcing SB 1070’s provision that mandates officers, while enforcing other laws, to question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally.
Gov. Jan Brewer has repeatedly said she’s confident SB 1070 will not lead to racial profiling but immigrant rights advocates disagree and are teaching undocumented immigrants how to defend themselves during encounters with police.
“We still see people who think that because they don’t have papers, they don’t have rights, but they do and we’re educating them about those rights,” Dulce Juarez, a member of the civil rights group Respect-Respeto, told VOXXI.
Amy Goodman at Democracy Now, bless her heart, was paying attention, and so on Monday she invited author Jeff Biggers -- whose new book, State Out of the Union, tackles the underlying issues at stake in Arizona -- on to talk about this quiet sea change:
BIGGERS: You know, I think, in effect, Amy, we’re talking about one of the—a new chapter and one of the darkest chapters in civil rights violations that we’re going to be facing in the future, because this goes beyond just looking at immigration policy. This now affects all Americans who are reasonably suspicious. And, of course, I think many think tanks and many investigations have looked at—this is not only going to open up a state of confusion, we’re talking about all levels of local law enforcements who have to make this call as, you know, who is a person who’s reasonably suspicious to be a so-called undocumented alien. I think we’re really looking at potentially some of the worst racial profiling in American history.
This is especially the case, as we've explained previously, for drivers from out of state who do not have Arizona drivers' licenses -- and especially for drivers from states such as Washington that do not require proof of citizenship or residency. That's why the ACLU issued that travel warning about Arizona.
As Biggers explained to Goodman, this fiasco is the kind of thing that always happens when right-wing extremists obtain political power and begin enacting their agendas: