Almost 60 years ago, the US Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education and began an historic era of upholding minority rights. Now, an ultra-right wing Supreme Court, which has already upheld Arizona's punitive law against businesses that hire unauthorized Latino immigrants, is now intervening in the dispute over the whether Arizona has the right to usurp federal immigration enforcement powers and set its own anti-immigrant policy.
The Supreme Court's decision to hear this case, coming after the same Court has just blocked a redistricting plan in Texas that would give a greater voice to Latino US citizens, cannot possibly be for any good purpose. The same court which was once the champion of minority rights and racial equality in America may now be turning into their main opponent.
What will be the future of immigration in America if every state becomes free to pass its own immigration laws, each one harsher against racial minorities than the next? Every state border would, in effect, become an international border. America would be the next Balkans. Is the risk of breaking America up into 50 different countries, each with its own entrance and documentary requirements, worth the political advantages of exploiting anti-immigrant hate?
In another item, Mitt Romney has released a campaign ad using the phrase "Keep America American." This phrase was first used in the 1850's by the anti-Irish Catholic "Know Nothings". It was also used in the 1920's by the Klu Klux Klan. I am not accusing Romney of supporting either hate group. Obviously, he does not. But he needs to hire a new historian. (And I am not referring to the bigoted "historian", Newt Gingrich.)
Roger Algase is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been practicing business immigration law in New York City for more than 20 years.