Supreme Court Decision on Arizona Law – San Diego ACLU Statement

The following statement can be attributed to Kevin Keenan, executive director of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties.

Certainly today’s decision could have been worse. On the positive side, the Supreme Court clearly reasserted that the federal government controls immigration policy and enforcement. But the decision is not a victory.

The “show me your papers” provision very likely marks a dangerous change in the structure of police power over our everyday lives. Fortunately, the Court cautions state authorities to tread carefully and even invites further litigation to test the provision’s constitutionality. We wish the Court had better understood the danger of allowing this provision to go into effect.

The Arizona lesson is that laws like these harm business, undermine police work, and threaten our most basic America values. No matter what the Court says is permissible, the real hope is that the American people and communities everywhere will continue to reject the misguided Arizona approach to immigration.