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The American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker peace and social justice organization, is very troubled by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling, although it  permanently enjoins portions of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law SB 1070. 

Today’s decision affirms that the federal government maintains sole control over immigration policies.  However, it also sustains the egregious “show me your papers” clause which in its implementation implicitly endorses racial profiling.

"Today’s ruling unfortunately upholds the worst part of this mean-spirited law, even as it overturns other sections. In effect, this means speaking with an accent, or being a person of color – or any other form of racial profiling - can trigger a profound violation of human rights.  Most troubling is this decision undermines the moral fiber of the U.S. Constitution, and can be used by other states to enact laws that also enable racial profiling," said Amy Gottlieb, Director of AFSC's Immigrants Rights Program in Newark, NJ.

AFSC has strongly opposed Arizona’s SB 1070 since its passage in 2010.  Consistent with the Quaker Testimony of Equality, we reject all forms of discrimination, whether based on race, nationality, immigration status, etc.  On June 4th, 2010, AFSC signed an amicus brief stating that the law violates both the Arizona and U.S. Constitutions. 

Today, AFSC welcomes and supports further legal challenges to SB 1070 that would seek to render the entire law as unconstitutional. 

“It is extremely troubling that Arizona’s SB 1070 has been replicated in varying degrees by other states, causing economic hardship and dislocation of immigrant communities all across the U.S.”, said Gabriel Camacho, the Coordinator for AFSC's Project Voice Program in Cambridge, MA.

Through decades of experience supporting immigrant families and workers, AFSC has witnessed and documented the conditions under which immigrant families are separated, immigrant workers are mistreated and their labor rights abused.

AFSC will continue to work together with immigrant communities and other allies to stand against hate and discrimination, and for policies that are welcoming and inclusive.  AFSC urges Congress and the Obama Administration to utilize the following seven principles to guide reform:

  • Adopt economic policies consistent with human rights and trade justice
  • Protect all workers’ labor rights
  • Create a clear, workable path to residency
  • Respect immigrants’ civil and human rights
  • Demilitarize the U.S.-Mexico border
  • Support family reunification
  • Ensure immigrants access to services