Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) made a point about the potential for racial profiling in Arizona’s anti-immigration law on Wednesday by challenging members of the House to look at a series of photographs and determine which of the people were immigrants and which were citizens.
In a 5-4 ruling earlier this week, the the Supreme Court found that three out of four provisions of the Arizona law were unconstitutional because they were preempted federal laws. The court upheld that police could be required to inquire about immigration status when they stop suspects, but it left open the possibility of future challenges once that portion of the law was finally implemented.
"In Arizona today, all that stands between you and a legal nightmare is whether a police officer feels that there is a reasonable suspicion to inquire about your country of origin," Gutierrez explained. "Yet, Arizona politicians will tell you — with a straight face, no less — that they can apply this law without racial profiling, without assuming that someone named Gutierrez isn’t less likely to be in this country legally than someone named Smith. That’s an amazing skill!"
"I’m sure Justin helped Gomez learn all about American customs and feel more at home in her adopted country," the congressman said. "Oh, wait a minute. I’m sorry. Because I’m not a trained Arizona official, I somehow got that backwards. Actually, Ms. Gomez of Texas has helped Mr. Bieber of Canada learn about his adopted country. Justin, when you perform in Phoenix, remember to bring your papers," Gutierrez warned.
Indeed. Paging Joe Arpaio…