Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Arizona Repercussions

Yesterday, Amnesty International responded to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Arizona immigration enforcement case welcoming the provisions that were overturned but referring to the provision that requires law enforcement officers to determine the immigration status of anyone who has been stopped for questioning when there’s reasonable suspicion that the person is in the country illegally, warned,
we are disappointed that the Court failed to draw a clearer line in the sand against racial profiling. This leaves the door open for continued challenges as ambiguities in implementation still exist.
So who is going to ensure going forward that racial profiling does not occur? Our old friend Sheriff Joe Arpaio! We've campaigned before on the horrendous conditions at the 'tent city' prison he has created in Phoenix and former Executive Director of Amnesty, William Schulz debated the sheriff on at least a couple of occasions. As it happens, Bill was back in town just a few days ago leading fellow Unitarians in an impressive vigil outside Tent City.  Radio station KFYI reports,
William Schulz, president and CEO of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and former head of Amnesty International in the U.S., said, "International standards for the treatment of prisoners are simple and straighforward when it comes to the question of prolonged exposure to heat.  This is clearly a violation of those standards."
Schulz said when he was with Amnesty International, he saw prisons in countries around the world, and the conditions at Tent City are nearly as bad as some of the worst he has seen.  Sheriff Arpaio objected, "Don't ever compare my jails with those countries.  That's an insult."
After the Supreme Court ruling, Sheriff Joe, who is also currently targeted in a Justice Department lawsuit, was unrepentant in his response to the Arizona ruling. Arpaio was also one of the guests on KPCC's Air Talk coverage of the ruling yesterday.

It's good to see the Rev. Schulz still on the case. We enjoyed reading a couple of his books. Looks like he's written a few more. Check them out here.
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