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Threat of Civil Rights Violations Persist in Immigration Law, Despite Court Ruling
Federal Authority Over Immigration Affirmed in Court's Ruling

Saperstein: We welcome today's Supreme Court ruling overturning most provisions of Arizona's draconian immigration law, SB 1070. Rather than responding reasonably to the problems within our immigration system, SB 1070 would have encouraged racial profiling and would have usurped the federal government of an authority it has always had.

Media contact: Sean Thibault or Madison Arent
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Washington, D.C., June 25, 2012: In response to the Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of Arizona's immigration law SB 1070, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement:

We welcome today's Supreme Court ruling overturning most provisions of Arizona's draconian immigration law, SB 1070. Rather than responding reasonably to the problems within our immigration system, SB 1070 would have encouraged racial profiling and would have usurped the federal government of an authority it has always had. The state's audacious response to the challenges of our immigration system threatens civil and human rights, rather than providing constructive solutions.

America is becoming ever more diverse. Living together in comity with intergroup respect and a rule of law under which all are treated equally are indispensible to the well-being of our nation.
The case still leaves open whether police will be able to engage in demanding papers of any people stopped for any reason. Despite provisions barring racial profiling, it is impossible to see how these provisions will be implemented short of such profiling.

We urge Arizona and the lower courts to endorse the principle that all women, men and children deserve equal protection under the law, as appearance offers no grounds on which to assume the legal status of an individual. Engaging in racial profiling only jeopardizes the safety of entire communities, as members of immigrant communities fearful of being profiled are discouraged from cooperating with law enforcement on issues

Throughout our history, from Moses' time to modern times, the Jewish people have known the experience of being strangers in a strange land. Those experiences, and Leviticus' mandate to "welcome the stranger," (19:33-34) have inspired American Jewry's commitment to a just immigration system and the just treatment of immigrants. SB 1070 would have failed to achieve either goal and would have been an affront to us as Reform Jews and as Americans who cherish this country's history as a nation of immigrants.



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