US Supreme Court Rules on Arizona Immigration Law SB 1070

US Supreme Court rules on Arizona immigration law SB 1070

Today, the US Supreme Court issued a ruling on Arizona immigration law SB 1070. The Court struck down three parts of the law, while retaining a fourth part - Section 2(B). In an important victory for Arizona, the provision of the law that required law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of detainees was upheld. The Court found that the mandatory status check does not interfere with federal immigration law.

The three parts that were struck down were:

- Making it a crime for immigrants to fail to carry registration documents,

- Making it a crime for illegal aliens without work permits to seek employment,

- Authorizing the police to arrest any illegal alien they suspect has committed a deportable offence.

The Court remanded Section 2(B) back to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for further consideration. 

The article "Arizona immigration law: Gov. Jan Brewer claims victory" reports that:

Despite the Supreme Court's ruling, the injunction blocking the provision from taking effect is still in place. The case now goes back to the lower courts. Authorities cannot begin enforcing the provision upheld by the Supreme Court until U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton lifts the injunction she issued in 2010. It is unclear how long that process could take.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer issued a press release saying, "Today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is a victory for the rule of law."

Several Justices filed dissenting opinion that they would have upheld the full law. Justice Scalia wrote that the ruling:

"deprives States of what most would consider the defining characteristic of sovereignty: the power to exclude from the sovereign's territory people who have no right to be there," and that the ruling "deprives states" of basic "characteristic of sovereignty".

We would agree with Justice Scalia. Yet the ruling reinforced the premise that immigration into our nation should be managed for the overall benefit of the nation and for Americans, and that Arizona does have the right to participate in this process.

As the late Congresswoman Barbara Jordan said in her 1995 Congressional testimony,

"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."

(Watch the 1995 Barbara Jordan Press Conference on Legal Immigration Recommendations.)