Arizona State Rep. Carl Seel (R-D20) proposed an anti-immigration bill that will outlaw the use of public amenities for undocumented immigrants. The bill, HB 2192, has drawn political fire and controversy because of its unconstitutionality.
HB 2192 denies and outlaws undocumented immigrants from using public services like public roads, bathrooms, schools, “or using the services of any public entity in the state.” First time offenders using public services would find themselves having committed a misdemeanor crime, and each subsequent time would be a felony.
Rep. Seel defended the bill saying that it only targets undocumented immigrants who have committed a crime and “have had their day in court.” However, Seel’s defense of the law doesn’t excuse the violation of human rights, and the law carries implications of racial profiling much like the controversial bill, SB 1070.
SB 1070 required immigrants to carry documentation credentials, failure to produce documentation resulted in police detainment. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down several sections of the law for their unconstitutionality.
HB 2192 is a clear violation of the Constitution. In 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment protects the rights of undocumented immigrants that allow them access to public utilities and services. Seel’s law blatantly contradicts the ruling and is another effort to alienate and segregate hispanics.
The American Civil Liberties Union has spoken out against the bill. “It’s extremely broad, and it’s clearly unconstitutional if it would lead to harassment of people of color,” said Alessandra Soler, executive director of the ACLU of Arizona. “This bill would create even more problems of racial profiling than we’re currently seeing.”
HB 2192 hasn’t been formally introduced to the Arizona state congress, but it has already experienced lacking support and some believe that the bill will eventually die on its own.
Erika Andiola of the DRM Coalition, an immigrant advocacy group, said she “do[esn’t] think it’s going to go anywhere. This guy is just trying to get attention.”
Seel mentioned that his bill will fall within the parameters of the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding SB 1070, and he also said his bill doesn’t target undocumented immigrants.
No, it won’t; and yes, it does.
Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.