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American Xenophobia, Racial and Ethnic Profiling behind Arizona’s Immigration Law

American Xenophobia, Racial and Ethnic Profiling behind Arizona’s Immigration Law

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Published by Horatio Green
Donald Verrilli represented the government’s case against Arizona’s illegal immigration law. Instead of constitutional authority over immigration enforcement, his argument should have been made on racial and ethnic profiling
Donald Verrilli represented the government’s case against Arizona’s illegal immigration law. Instead of constitutional authority over immigration enforcement, his argument should have been made on racial and ethnic profiling

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Published by: Horatio Green on Apr 30, 2012
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12/20/2014

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American Xenophobia, Racial and Ethnic Profiling behindArizona’s Immigration Law
At Wednesday’s Supreme Court hearing, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli represented thegovernment’s case against Arizona’s illegal immigration law. But he presented the wrongargument. Instead of arguing that the federal government had constitutional authority over immigration enforcement, his argument should have been made on the basis of racial and ethnic profiling.But when Chief Justice John Roberts asked the question as to whether Verrilli’s argument had to“do with racial or ethnic profiling,” unfortunately, Verrilli said it did not.The argument that Verrilli made seems contrary to President Obama’s position. In April 2010,hesaidthat the Arizona law threatened “to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish asAmericans, as well as the trust between police and our communities that is so crucial to keeping ussafe.” Obama was not talking about the authority of the federal government over local governmentin enforcing illegal immigration, but racial profiling.Paul Clement, who represented Arizona, said the law borrowed federal standards as its own, andcomplemented federal immigration policy. It was a good argument, and oneseemingly favored bythe Justices.In June, if the Supreme Court upholds Arizona’s law or selected portions of it, other states whohave similar laws in the workswill jump on the bandwagon and enact laws like Arizona’s.Verrilli missed the boat when he didn’t argue the real problem with Arizona’s law. The law’sramification is that it’s not about Greeks, Italians, Poles, or New Zealanders -- it’s about

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