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June 25, 2012

Arizona and the Supreme Court Ruling

 
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So, the Supreme Court of the United States has now opined on the provisions of Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration enforcement legislation. In its opinion the court struck down all provisions challenged other than section 2(B).  

The Court stated, “The United States has established that §§ 3, 5(C), and 6 of S. B. 1070 are preempted. It was improper, however, to enjoin §2(B) before the state courts had an opportunity to construe it and without some showing that enforcement of the provision in fact conflicts with federal immigration law and its objectives.” 

So, where are we? 

Much as some in Arizona would contend that the heart of the bill was sustained in that section 2(B) (the so called “show me your papers” provision) requires state officers to make a “reasonable attempt . . . to determine the immigration status” of any person they stop, detain, or arrest on some other legitimate basis if “reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien and is unlawfully present in the United States” there are too many questions that abound. 

In other words until state courts can adjudicate whether section 2(B) in fact “ . . . conflicts with federal immigration law and its objectives . . . “ the implementation of that provision of section 2(B) of the law is at best in limbo.  

The Court has rather remarkably established a majority federal primacy rule with regard to immigration enforcement. It will throw cold water on any state to engage in cooperative efforts with the federal government. Federal Homeland Security already has suspended their cooperative relationship today in view of the Court’s decision. 

If there is any clear direction that we can infer from this decision it is that immigration enforcement is the purview of the United States Congress and in that respect the Congress has failed to clearly and completely deliver immigration enforcement that works.




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