“The Supreme Court threw out obviously unconstitutional provisions of the Arizona law. However, we are extremely alarmed that the court has signed off on efforts to legitimize and legalize the practice of racial profiling,” said Shola Ajayi, an advocacy specialist at CASA de Maryland, Inc., on Wednesday in an email. “The Arizona law and other anti-immigrant laws, like Alabama’s HB 56, threaten the rights of citizens and noncitizens alike.”
The latent racial implication of the law is troublesome to groups like Casa de Maryland.
“Latinos, immigrants and people of color won’t stand for racist laws that target our communities and tear apart our families,” Ajayi said. “We will continue our work to repeal and repel efforts that threaten the civil rights of our communities here in Maryland and nationwide and will seek change by voting come November.”
The Supreme Court’s ruling reopened the dialogue in the community.
Casa de Maryland is outraged because it says racial profiling is currently in practice in Maryland through the Secure Communities program and the concern is that the Supreme Court has signed off on that practice.
In response and in defense of immigrant families from Arizona to Maryland, Casa de Maryland is planning a rally and march Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 1:00 p.m., starting at 8540 Piney Branch Road, Silver Spring. Supporters will march from Montgomery to Prince George’s County condemning racial profiling in Arizona and racial profiling in Maryland.
Montgomery County Police Department was not as concerned by the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“Immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility, not the province of state and local government,” said Patrick Lacefield, director of media relations for the Montgomery County Police Department, in an email on Tuesday. “Federal immigration reform is critical to resolving immigration questions that impact on local communities.”
The Department of Homeland Security echoed the views of the Montgomery County Police Department, but DHS has plenty of work in its future.
“DHS remains focused on enhancing public safety and the integrity of our border by prioritizing enforcement resources on those who are in the country unlawfully and committing crimes, those who have repeatedly violated our immigration laws, and those who recently crossed our borders illegally,” said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano in a statement on Monday.
Napolitano praised the efforts of President Barack Obama’s administration and hoped that Congress would work to a more permanent solution.
“We continue to urge Congress to pass comprehensive reform because nothing short of a comprehensive solution will resolve the current patchwork of immigration laws,” she said. “Finally, it is important to note that today’s Supreme Court decision will not impact the memorandum I issued on June 15th related to prosecutorial discretion eligibility for productive members of society who were brought to the United States as children."
The battle for immigration reform will continue, and groups like Casa de Maryland will continue to advocate for fairness in the process.
By Rashee Raj Kumar