by Andrew Crisp
As the U.S. Supreme Court took up consideration of an argument related to Arizona's immigration law, SB 1070, representatives from the Idaho Community Action Network and American Civil Liberties Union Idaho assembled at the corner of Bannock and Eighth streets in Boise.
"I'm here today to state that the Supreme Court should not allow our rights to be undermined," said ICAN member Alicia Clements. "SB 1070 encourages racial profiling."
Clements and a dozen other protesters implored the Supreme Court to strike down the law outright. But according to the Los Angeles Times coverage of the court's proceedings, justices appear skeptical that the law is unconstitutional.
The Times' David Savage wrote:
The Obama administration lawyer who wanted the entire law struck down ran into skeptical questions from most of the justices, who said they saw no problem with requiring police officers to check the immigration status of people who are stopped.
But the justices also said they were troubled by parts of the Arizona law that made it a state crime for illegal immigrants to not carry documents or seek work. The stop-and-arrest provision has been the most contested part of the law.
However, opponents of Arizona's measure say the "show me your papers" law encourages racial profiling. They say that the measure encourages law enforcement to stop non-caucasian citizens to check their immigration status.
"Essentially, it forces all Americans to carry their papers," said Leo Morales with ACLU Idaho. "It threatens our civil liberties, betrays our American values and is unconstitutional."
The Supreme Court is expected to decide on the controversial law as early as June.