Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia Responds to Supreme Court Decision on SB 1070
Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia during a press conference in September 2011 announcing the end of cooperation with ICE detainers. Photo courtesy of jesuschuygarcia.com
In light of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the document check provision of Arizona’s immigration law, SB 1070, Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, spoke out against it, stating it violates the 1st, 4th, 5th and 15th Amendment rights and continues to be a form of racial profiling.
His full statement is below:
“The Supreme Court of the United States came two-thirds of the way toward restoring Constitutional protections to everyone living under it. As we have been saying all along it is not a crime to be an undocumented immigrant and that criminalizing immigrants for supporting themselves, their children and contributing to society is a not a violation of America’s basic premise, we are a nation of laws and not a police state. In striking down the section that allows Arizona officers to make warrantless arrests, the Court confirms that in America, we cannot detain people without probable cause. ICE detainers are no exception. Cook County has a moral obligation to uphold the First Amendment right of assembly, the fourth Amendment right to be free from unwarranted searches and seizures, the fifth amendment right of due process and the fourteenth amendment right of equal protection under the law.
The fact that the Court did not strike down the “papers, please” section, which requires officers to verify a person’s immigration status in some circumstances, is a sad commentary on the state of democratic principles. SB 1070 Section 2B continues to violate the 1st, 4th, 5th and 14th Amendment rights and will force undocumented immigrants to continue living in the shadows of our society. In those shadows they fall victim to racial profiling while law enforcement and other governmental functions are hampered by a community unable or afraid to cooperate with them to keep themselves and ultimately all of us safe. In those shadows they are also at the mercy of the least scrupulous employers who rob them of their wages. This form of racial profiling also victimizes US citizens and legal permanent residents who fall victim to it. It also increases friction between authorities and the communities they are sworn to serve and protect when a few racist bad apples poison the whole barrel using this law as a shield.
Comprehensive immigration reform is still a necessity for our communities and our country but it cannot happen in a country whose laws reflect the values of a police state instead of representative democracy. In Cook County we are on the right side and the forefront of history. For the health and safety of everyone who lives here, we should endeavor to remain so.”