Sheriff Joe Arpaio recently went on trial in Arizona for discriminating against Latinos and for usurping federal authority with roundups of undocumented immigrants. In a related action, a coalition of groups is asking a federal court to block enforcement of Section 2(B) of SB 1070, the Arizona law that compels all law enforcement agencies in that state to enforce the Arpaio model.
In June the Supreme Court rejected the premise of SB 1070 on grounds that making foreign policy – of which immigration law is a part – is a federal government’s domain. However, the Court upheld the law’s “show me your papers” section that requires officers to check the immigration status of anyone they stop, arrest or detain on another basis if the officer has a “reasonable suspicion” the person is in the country illegally.
The motion to block Section 2(B) “involves additional claims, evidence, and irreparable injuries beyond what the Supreme Court had before it.” The challenge explains harms so obvious and unconstitutional that the judge does not need extensive proof of the section’s impact to enjoin it. The Legislature “explicitly intended Section 2(B) to codify the practices” of Arpaio, the motion says, even after his powers had been restricted by earlier investigations into and challenges to his racial profiling. The practices include prolonged stops and detentions of Latinos to check their status or for other immigration-related purposes.
The plaintiffs are also asking the court to enjoin another Arizona law, which turns alleged violations of a federal anti-harboring law into a state crime. Courts have enjoined similar laws in Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina since, like Arizona’s, they were clearly pre-empted by federal law.
We welcome back returning guest Philip Weiss, the founder and co-editor of Mondoweiss.net, a news website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East. Philip has recently returned from a trip to Israel and was struck by the ongoing apartheid against Palestinians. During his trip, he traveled an Israeli’s only road. He saw the massive barrier in the West Bank. He toured many Israeli settlements, such as Ma’ale Adumim, the first settlement to be declared a city. Interestingly Philip also saw some of the fund raiser entourage of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney while in Jerusalem. We talk with him about his trip and the future of the Palestinian state.