The next few days or fortnight will redeem Charles Dickens’ it was the worst of times, it was the best of times for the HispanicLatino community. In a clear signal that it understands the political and fundamental role that HispanicLatinos play in developing the future of the country, the Obama Administration set the stage for the incorporation of 800,000 mostly HispanicLatino young men and women into the flow of American life. For them, it is the best of times, at least in the short run. They can think about how to proceed with their lives for the next two years and perhaps longer if they make the most of the time they have been allotted.
But depending on what and when the Supreme Court rules on Arizona’s anti-HispanicLatino law, the rest of the community could well be facing the beginning of the worst of times, starting now, if the Court announces its decision today or perhaps next week. The Court almost certainly will rule in favor of a law that targets HispanicLatinos specifically so that they any individual who appears to be HispanicLatino can be harassed at the whim of any local official. Indeed, almost any positive ruling by the Court will encourage local officials, including law enforcement and public school officials, to embark on dangerous self-enforcement missions that in some cases will provoke violence.