The student group MEChA de Brown is collecting signatures for a petition against Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070, which grants broad police authority to detain anyone suspect of being in the country illegally. Critics of the law, concerned with potential civil rights violations, say it essentially sanctions racial profiling.
The Brown group’s petition, which currently has over 600 signatures, states:
“As an institution that stands for the indiscriminate treatment of all human beings, regardless of race or ethnicity, it is imperative that President Ruth Simmons, as a representative of Brown, stand alongside MEChA de Brown and express public disapproval for S.B. 1070.”
Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri “tried but failed to pass a similar act two years ago,” said MEChA co-president Holly Doerflinger ’13, who is taking questions about the petition at holly_doerflinger at brown.edu
“States have no power to pass immigration laws because it’s an attribute of foreign affairs. Just as states can’t have their own foreign policies or enter into treaties, they can’t have their own immigration laws either.”
Ann Coulter –– the famously conservative constitutional lawyer, syndicated columnist and member of the Federalist Society –– disagrees. She argues that the new Arizona law is merely a measure to enforce an existing federal law that the Obama administration is choosing to ignore:
“Liberals are being hysterical,” she told Fox News. “I think the preemption argument is nonsense. That doesn’t mean there isn’t some crazy court that won’t recognize it. But when it goes to the Supreme Court [the law will be upheld because] preemption is silly.”