Only a few decades since the passage of he Civil Rights Act eliminated legal cover for Jim Crow in America – Tea Party Republicans seem determined to bring it back…
This time, at least initially focused against “illegal” immigrants.
This battle is nothing more than the opening salvo in the re-segregation of America by the Tea Bagged.
As immigrant advocates battle hardline immigration bills in state capitols across the country, they’re receiving crucial support from caucuses of black legislators.
Black politicians have come out in defense of immigrants, questioning the morality and wisdom of tough immigration legislation in states from Nebraska to Georgia, where “copycat bills” are being modeled on Arizona’s immigration enforcement legislation, SB 1070. That bill ignited a national debate last year on whether states should take immigration matters into their own hands. The fact that federal courts have blocked many parts of Arizona’s law from being implemented has not deterred the copycats.
Nineteen state legislatures have considered Arizona-style proposals this year, according to Suman Raghunathan, Immigration Project Coordinator at Progressive States Network, a New York City-based nonprofit. Ten of these proposals have been defeated, but they remain alive in several states, including South Carolina, Florida, Alabama and Oklahoma.
Black legislators have been vocal in warning that, if approved, these bills could have unintended consequences, including damage to local economies, racial profiling, and diluting the federal government’s constitutionally-granted authority over immigration matters.
In the face of an ongoing backlash against immigrants, this deepening alliance between pro-immigrant lobbyists and black lawmakers has begun to transform state-level politics around immigration.
In Mississippi, the black legislative caucus was instrumental in sinking a get-tough immigration measure that had seemingly unstoppable momentum and bipartisan support. The bill would have required Mississippi law enforcement agencies to check the immigration status of people detained in any “stop, arrest, or detention” and created a state offense for failure to carry “an alien registration document.” Read the rest of this entry »