UPDATE FROM FAULT LINES PRESENTER JOSH RUSHING:
The Supreme Court has agreed to review Arizona’s harsh immigration law SB1070. I interviewed the author of the law, Russell Pearce, for my Fault Lines episode (above) about it last year. Pearce told me then that he hoped the law would be challenged up to and reviewed by the Supreme Court. He believes that if SB1070 is upheld by the highest court in the land, his anti-immigration movement will receive a boost of credibility.
Next up in Pearce’s master plan: tackling the 14th amendment, specifically the part of the constitution that says anyone born in the US is a citizen and has equal rights and protection. Pearce says that babies born to undocumented immigrants are as illegal as their parents and should be prosecuted and then kicked out as well.
The Tea Party-backed politicians responsible for SB1070 say Barack Obama’s failure to seal the border has forced them to take matters into their own hands to defend the state against illegal immigrants that the tanking economy cannot afford.In the border state of Arizona, a new law has reignited the immigration debate across the US.
But opponents of SB1070 say it criminalises undocumented people and legitimates racial profiling of the state’s large Hispanic population.
The Obama administration challenged the law in court, arguing that it usurps federal authority over immigration – and a federal judge temporarily blocked some of its most controversial provisions from being implemented.
Meanwhile a movement is rising, challenging not only SB1070, but the premises of federal immigration policy.
Josh Rushing travels to the epicentre of the country’s broken immigration system and asks the questions that are fracturing the nation: What does it mean to be illegal? And what does it mean to be American?
This episode of Fault Lines first aired in August 2010.