LatinaLista — For the 21st Century, an old-fashioned, western-style showdown doesn't get anywhere close to the real thing than this. Tomorrow, the US Supreme Court will finally hear oral arguments in Arizona v. United States.
The Court will focus on the four sections of the law enjoined by the Ninth Circuit in April of last year. Those provisions:
(1) require police to verify the immigration status of anyone they stop if they suspect he or she is undocumented;
(2) make it a state crime for a non-citizen to be without registration papers;
(3) make it illegal for an undocumented immigrant to apply for a job; and
(4) authorize police to arrest anyone they believe has committed a deportable offense.
Needless to say, both sides have already come out shooting at each other — kinda.
For example, today, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) vowed that even if the Supreme Court upholds Arizona's immigration law it won't be a lasting victory for the state. He vowed to propose an act "that would prohibit states from enacting or enforcing their own immigration law penalties unless they are working in concert with the federal government."
Schumer made this pledge during a hearing this morning by the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security. He was joined by fellow Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin from Illinois. In fact, he and Durbin were the only members of the 11-member subcommittee to attend the hearing. The GOP members of the subcommittee were no-shows (it was reported that they "boycotted" the event) and that left only one person to defend the SB1070 — its author, former Arizona State Senate President Russell Pearce.
As is customary in these kinds of hearings, several people are invited to testify about the issue/policy at hand. Pearce was the only supporter of SB1070 to show up. The other three, who were also from Arizona, spoke out opposing SB1070.
Ever since passing SB1070 in Arizona's state legislature, Pearce has declared it was the will of the people of Arizona. Yet, a columnist for a local newspaper shed doubt on how much Arizona residents, who supported the bill, actually understand its ramifications or consequences or that Pearce speaks for the majority in Arizona.
Regardless, no one has a hint as to how the Supreme Court will rule on the issue. Opponents are staging a nationwide online vigil tonight and cities throughout the country will be sites for events to show solidarity in opposition to the law.
It's hoped that if either the Supreme Court overturns SB1070 or Sen. Schumer follows through on his threat that it will finally start opening the door in Washington to address the issue of immigration reform — a conversation that will be uncomfortable, hostile and long overdue.