With Brown v. Board of Education, Roe v. Wade, and Lawrence v. Texas, the most substantial civil rights victories of the 21st century have been through the courts, and it seems that the fight for justice for immigrants will follow this pattern. Legislatures are too susceptible to political whims, and their decisions are often based not on what is just or right, but what is popular. The courts, on the other hand, are more sheltered from political pressure and have a responsibility to act on logic instead of raw emotions and hateful rhetoric.
Thus, it was a step towards justice for immigrants today when U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled in favor of blocking the most caustic and discriminatory provisions of Senate Bill 1070 in Arizona (see news article). More than that, it was a message to the nation that despite the growing fears of immigrants, who are dehumanized and labeled “the other,” the law will uphold their dignity and humanity. Here in Ohio, it was a step towards defeating the political game-playing of Representatives Courtney Combs and Butler County Sheriff Jones who want to introduce copy cat measures of the bill.
However, the entire nation will be watching and waiting as the court determines the merit of the lawsuit alleging that SB 1070 is unconstitutional. Based on history, it is likely that the courts will come to the right conclusion. Even if not in the federal district, this nation will eventually come back to it founding principles: that all are created equal, and thus all deserve equal rights. Even more optimistic, this battle could be rendered altogether moot if congress would act on immigration reform, -- which is the real solution to dignity for immigrants.
Submitted by Florentina Staigers