When the Supreme Court considers what it heard this week in United States v. Texas -- the Republican lawsuit challenging the Obama administration's immigration initiatives -- the justices should start by getting the basic facts right.
The rhetoric on immigration this election cycle has been extreme, demonstrating a willingness to sacrifice common sense for fanatical politics. Even worse, the rhetoric has made immigration legislatively untouchable.
If section 2 of Arizona's immigration statute -- SB 1070 -- is upheld, which it very well may be if the justices vote along philosophical lines, then the racial profiling matter will have to be addressed in the political realm.
It may be that, when the Supreme Court rules on state power to monitor and restrict the activities of people who have entered the U.S. illegally and remain without permission, the Justices will give states additional authority. But it seems doubtful.
Today, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear argument on the validity of the state of Arizona's effort to regulate immigration within its borders. Many observers view this case as among the most important of this century.
As one of the country's 12 million undocumented immigrants who call this country home, walking around Ellis Island was a deep, sobering experience. It was a reminder of why immigration must remain the purview of the federal government, not individual states like Arizona and Alabama.
For two years, we have been living with the consequences of racial profiling state laws that violate our basic human and civil rights. But these mean-spirited laws that threaten the rights of citizens and immigrants will not be the last word.
Two cases set to be heard in the U.S. Supreme Court in the early part of this year will determine whether we are a cohesive country of laws or whether we are a divided states that would like to make up our own rules as we go along.