Monday, June 25, 2012

Three Of Arizona's SB 1070 Immigration Enforcement Provisions Struck Down By U.S. Supreme Court

Governor Janice K. Brewer

Provision allowing police to check immigration status of suspected illegals that commit illegal acts stands, but states exercising such provision would have to clarify implementation.

By H. Nelson Goodson
June 25, 2012

Washington, D.C. - On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court on a vote of 4-3 invalidated most of Arizona's SB 1070 enforcement immigration law. The court decided to leave the provision (Section 2(B)) allowing for police enforcement to check the legal status of suspected illegal immigrants when arrested for a crime or traffic violation up to state courts to review its implementation and left it opened for a future legal challenge.
The court struck down Arizona's warrantless arrest for persons committing a public offense and being undocumented, making it a state crime to be in the U.S. illegally and not registering under the federal alien-registration requirement, making it a state crime to search for employment and work. The court ruled those provisions were preempted by federal law.
Governor Jan Brewer (R) in Arizona, viewed the decision as a victory. Brewer said, that it was a "victory for the rule of law...After more than two years of legal challenges, the heart of SB 1070 can now be implemented in accordance with the U.S. Constitution." She expects further legal challenges to continue against the provision that allows officers to ask the legal status of illegal immigrants when arrested for illegal acts.
Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Charles Gonzalez (D-TX) in a news release stated, "Today, the Supreme Cour clearly directed the State of Arizona, and states with similar anti-immigrant laws, that immigration is in the exclusive purview of the federal government. Now, more than ever, it is clear that our country needs real, permanent solutions and that Congress must pass comprehensive immigration reform.
“When three out of four provisions of a state’s law are struck down, it obviously can’t be viewed as a victory for the state. Nor can an unconstitutional law be used a model for the nation, as Governor Mitt Romney suggested. The fact the Romney has said that as president he would not even challenge Arizona’s law, shows what a sad direction our country’s immigration laws would go under his administration."

U.S. Supreme Court ruling Arizona v. United States (PDF) at:

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