(San Francisco, CA)—The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) condemned the Supreme Court’s decision today to end race as a consideration in college admissions. The ruling will have far-reaching repercussions beyond higher education institutions since the conservative majority has signaled they believe colorblindness—a term Justice Clarence Thomas used in his concurring opinion--is fairness.
In her dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said “today, this Court stands in the way and rolls back decades of precedent and momentous progress,” adding that the decision “cements a superficial rule of colorblindness as a constitutional principle in an endemically segregated society where race has always mattered and continues to matter.”
“The ILRC believes firmly that diversity leads to greatness across all organizations, from higher education to corporate boardrooms, to the halls of our government and in our courthouses,” said ILRC Executive Director Eric Cohen. “We will continue our advocacy fighting for just and humane immigration policy that leads to opportunities for communities who have continually been marginalized because of the color of their skin. The immigration system is far from colorblind.”
States like California, where the ILRC was founded and is headquartered, has seen the horrendous impact of bans on affirmative action. Two of its most prestigious public universities saw a 40% decrease in its Black and Latino student population immediately after Proposition 209 went into effect in 1997. The University of California system has struggled since then to return to the diverse class it once held, providing a grim look at what’s in store for the makeup of higher education in our nation.
“The struggles of students who have succeeded in the face of constant discrimination and inequality should be recognized and rewarded, not diminished,” Cohen said. “The conservative court is closing doors of opportunity. Americans must not sit on the sidelines and let this happen.”
“We are seeing across our country, in states like Texas and Florida, how conservative politicians view immigrants, seeking to rid their states of them, enforcing harsh policies that violate their civil liberties,” Cohen added. “When will the Supreme Court strike down these policies?”
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national nonprofit that works with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, and policy makers to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through community education programs, legal training & technical assistance, and policy development & advocacy, the ILRC works to protect and defend the fundamental rights of immigrant families and communities.