Monday, June 25, 2012

Supreme Court Upholds Provisions of Arizona's SB1070 Immigration Law

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld a provision in Arizona's controversial SB1070 that allowed state and local officers to enquire about a suspect's immigration status but struck down other provisions that included requiring all immigrants to obtain or carry immigration registration papers, making it a state criminal offense for an illegal immigrant to seek work or hold a job and allowing police to arrest suspected illegal immigrants without warrants.

The portion of the law allowing city, county or state police in Arizona to investigate the immigration status of an individual detained or questioned if there is reasonable suspicion that individual is in the country illegally is expected to face additional challenges from civil liberties and open borders activist groups.

After the Supreme Court announced their ruling, the Obama Administration and the Department of Homeland Security would suspend existing agreements with law enforcement in Arizona, issuing a directive to Homeland Security to ignore many of the calls they might get from police and sheriff's departments in Arizona.
Federal officials said they’ll still perform the checks as required by law but will respond only when someone has a felony conviction on his or her record. Absent that, ICE will tell the local police to release the person.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said the court’s decision frees police up to perform immigration checks. In anticipation of the ruling, she issued an executive order calling for guidance to be issued to every police department on how to fairly carry out the law.

On Monday the administration officials also said they are ending the seven 287(g) task force agreements with Arizona law enforcement officials, which proactively had granted some local police the powers to enforce immigration laws.

The task forces, named for the section of law that allows them, have proved popular among many localities but have been a political headache for the Obama administration, with immigrant-rights groups saying they led to abuses.
In July 2010, US District Judge Susan Bolton issued an injunction against the implementation of many parts of SB1070, but permitted one that included making knowingly harboring illegal immigrants a crime to remain. A few weeks prior, the Department of Justice had filed a lawsuit against the Grand Canyon State over SB 1070.

Interestingly, the state of Rhode Island had similar laws implemented via executive order from then-governor Carcieri, but Little Rhody never drew the wrath of the Obama Administration or open-borders activists like Arizona's SB1070 did. On the flip side, a Vermont state trooper was accused of racial profiling and Gov. Shumlin ordered an internal investigation after the trooper arrested two illegal immigrants who were passengers in a speeding car in September 2011.

Arizona's SB1070 ruling is one of two decisons from the Supreme Court- after much buildup and anticipation, the justices are expected to rule on 0bamacare later on this week.

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