Congresswoman Janice Hahn joined Arizona congressmen Raúl Grijalva, Ed Pastor and others to unveil a "friend of the court" brief in the Supreme Court's hearing of Arizona v. United States. The case decided the constitutionality of Arizona's racial profiling immigration law.
I’m very proud to be here with my colleagues. Two years ago when I was a member of the Los Angeles City Council, I led the Arizona boycott for the city of Los Angeles to basically end the city’s business contracts with Arizona-based businesses. Very controversial. I probably got more hate mail on that one action than I had in my entire public career, but it was the right thing to do, and it was a dramatic step, but we really felt that we were trying to address in a significant way a more dramatic wrong. The city had a voice and that voice was our checkbook and we used it to speak up for the people in California, in Arizona, and across the country.
And I’m very proud to stand here again today with my friend and colleague, Raúl Grijalva, and others to unveil a friend of the court brief in the Supreme Court, Arizona v. the United States. That Arizona SV1070 clearly is immoral and I believe it’s plain to anyone who understands the values of this country. In this case, the state of Arizona passed a law that fundamentally legitimizes racial profiling. Law enforcement was ordered to stop people and based on their appearance or their speech, demand documents to prove that they are an American citizen. This goes so fundamentally against everything we believe in, everything that we want to be. It’s presuming guilt because of skin color, and we’ve seen time and time again the dangers of doing that, most recently in Florida. Racial profiling not only fails to improve security or reduce crime, it really violates, as many speakers have said today, our constitution.
We need comprehensive immigration reform and I think everyone is saying that, and I hope this congress takes that up, finally. I think it’s the right thing to do. But just because we don’t have comprehensive immigration reform yet it does not give states like Arizona the right to take the law into their own hands, because frustrations of federal immigration law is no excuse to enact laws that violate our constitution.
I hope the Supreme Court will reject this law as the abhorrent creation that it is. And I want to thank all of my colleagues for signing onto this and standing up today to point out something that we believe is truly wrong and goes against the spirit of the people of this great country.