In Arizona, Latino communities are preparing for acts of mass protest and civil disobedience ahead of Monday’s Supreme Court ruling on the controversial immigration law SB1070. Should the law go unchallenged, police will be allowed the power to investigate the immigration status of any person they may have “reasonable suspicion” of being undocumented.
“No one, from the governor down, has provided any guidance on what constitutes ‘reasonable suspicion’,” said Allesandra Soler Meetze, ACLU’s director in Arizona. In the absence of proper training, she added, “police officers will rely on their own prejudices and go by how people look and speak. That will push law enforcement into racial profiling.”
As the Supreme Court ruling on the law is expected by Monday, civil rights advocates and groups have begun working with communities across the state. One of the planned actions will be for a mass refusal to carry papers even if one is a full US citizens. The idea “would be for as many as possible of the more than 1 million Latinos living in Arizona with full citizenship rights to refuse to carry papers with them as they went about their business. If they were stopped because they looked Hispanic or spoke Spanish, the police would be duty bound to arrest them and explore their immigration status, which if replicated thousands of times would snarl up the system to such a degree that the new provision would become unworkable,” reports the Guardian/UK.
“The aim would be to make the law so difficult to enforce that there would be a reconsideration of it,” Alfredo Gutierrez, a former state senator in Arizona, explained.
In addition, Spanish-language videos are being circulated that explained what to do should someone be stopped by police, and a hotline that operates 24 hours a day to help people in trouble with the law is also being expanded.
Originally published at CommonDreams.com