PHILADELPHIA, June 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the Reverend Luis Cortes, Jr., President of Esperanza, responds to the Supreme Court's decision on Arizona law SB10170 with tempered approbation, recognizing that although most of Arizona's harmful legislation was struck down as unconstitutional, the one provision that was upheld will almost certainly have a detrimental effect on communities of color.
Reverend Cortes states:
"In three of the four disputed provisions of Arizona's harmful, anti-immigrant legislation, our Supreme Court recognized the role of the federal government as the rightful, sole creator and enforcer of immigration policy, and fortunately did not open the door for a patchwork of conflicting policies to emerge from state to state.
"However, I see no way for the 'papers please' provision that was upheld to be enforced without causing racial profiling and violations of the civil rights of people of color. The Supreme Court has made it clear that the manner in which the measure is implemented will determine its viability in the long term; we fear that minority communities in Arizona will experience undue suffering in the process. When the state of Arizona begins to carry out this provision, we'll be watching very closely and will stand ready to oppose any instances of rights violations.
"This decision underscores what we as immigration reform advocates have been steadily repeating for many years: That the responsibility for fixing our immigration policies and enforcement falls squarely on the shoulders of the federal government. Now that the affirmation of federal responsibility has been so clearly stated by the highest court in our land, we must not allow the issue to stagnate once again; it's time for Congress to get the job done. The ruling contained some good news, but it cannot be characterized as an unmitigated victory; instead, it is only an arrow pointing the way forward. We thank the Supreme Court of the United States for helping us to frame the need for our next action steps."
Reverend Luis Cortes is president of Esperanza, the premiere Hispanic Evangelical faith-based network in the country. With a national network of over 12,000 Hispanic congregations, faith and community based agencies, Esperanza is a leading voice for Hispanics in America.