NASHVILLE - A Tennessee immigrant rights group is voicing concerns over today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that allows Arizona to move forward for now with allowing police checks of suspects' immigration status as they enforce other laws.
The high court struck down three provisions of Arizona's law but left intact, subject to additional court challenge, the Arizona law's provision allowing checks of suspected illegal immigrants under some circumstances.
Provisions rejected by the court include requiring all immigrants to obtain or carry immigration registration papers, making it a state criminal offense for an illegal immigrant to seek work or hold a job and allowing police to arrest suspected illegal immigrants without warrants.
Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition spokesman Eben Cathey said the group sees the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the three as "encouraging." But he noted the high court "upheld one of the most troubling provisions" known as the "show me your papers" provision.
"We're concerned that the Supreme Court ruling on the 'show me your papers' [provision] will endorse state-sanctioned racial profiling in Arizona," Cathey said. "We hope that Tennessee's legislators don't follow Arizona's destructive path and see the [decision] as a mandate to implement similar mean-spirited laws."
For more details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.