April 19, 2014

Arizona-style law will be opposed

The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down portions of Arizona’s immigration law. Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Milwaukee-based Voces de la Frontera, says the most troubling part is the court’s decision to let stand the provision allowing law enforcement in Arizona to stop persons who they suspect may be undocumented, and check their immigration status. “It actually does undermine public safety,” said Neumann-Ortiz. “It creates fear, particularly in immigrant communities.”

The American-born Neumann-Ortiz says she’s had her immigration status questioned, and that such race-based profiling will always be strongly opposed by immigrant communities. “This is the kind of law that would actually say it’s legal to stop people and question them, and that’s really what the civil rights movement fought against,” said Neumann-Ortiz.

Neumann-Ortiz said efforts to pass Arizona-style legislation in Wisconsin failed because of bipartisan opposition – and she expects similar opposition if such a bill is proposed in the future. Five states have laws on the books similar to that in Arizona.