Following Monday's Supreme Court ruling on Arizona’s SB 1070, immigration advocates in Los Angeles are laying out their next steps to push for reform.
The decision on Arizona’s state law may have little to do with California. Observers on both sides of the immigration divide believe it’s unlikely a law will be passed that would allow state and local police to stop and ask people for papers.
Californian supporters of SB 1070 lament the fact that this state has the largest undocumented population — larger even than Arizona.
But groups like MALDEF and leaders such as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa say the Supreme Court’s mixed ruling on SB 1070 should mark a new chapter for them.
“With the Court’s ruling, California must make clear where it stands: does it want to lead? Or does it want to follow?" asked Hector Villagra, executive director of the ACLU in L.A. "California must not turn police into immigration agents. And California must work to eliminate racial profiling, not put it into state law.”
Activists like Villagra say their coalition will continue to push for the full Dream Act. Also on their radar is the Trust Act, a bill which would counter the federal Secure Communities program by requiring local police to release unauthorized immigrants who’ve been detained after their bond is posted (as long as they have no serious convictions).