SB 1070 Meets the Supreme Court

All attention was on the United States Supreme Court as they ruled on the legality of Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law. With a 5 to 3 decision, Justice Kagan had recused herself from the consideration or decision of this case, while the remaining Justice’s reached a split decision – upholding certain sections of the law while striking down other sections. The delivery by the high court was on Monday June 25, 2012.

The section known as, “papers please,” was upheld, at least for now. The justices were not ready to say that this provision was encroaching on an area of law that should be controlled by the federal government, but perhaps could be considered supporting laws. This controversial section, which some feared could lead to racial profiling is as follows:

For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person. The person’s immigration status shall be verified with the federal government pursuant to 8 United States code section 1373(c).

Three other provisions of SB 1070 were struck down by the court. Two dealt with the employment of illegal immigrants and one with authorizing police to make warrantless arrests if officers have probable cause to assume that someone is in the country illegally.

According to the Huffington Post, Justice Antonin Scalia, who would have upheld all four of the provisions in question wrote that Arizona is, “entitled to impose additional penalties and consequences for violations of the federal immigration laws, because it is entitled to have its own immigration laws.” This controversial decision has raised numerous questions about state verses federal immigration policies.

To read the entire Senate Bill, click here.

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