Disclaimer: I am not an attorney nor do I play one on tv.
Today the Supreme Court issued its opinion on the AZ immigration law known as S.B. 1070. Depending on which news source you rely on, the opinion was either a triumph for the Obama Administration or vindication for Arizona.
There were four sections of S.B. 1070 that were being challenged by the Federal Government:
- Section 3 makes failure to comply with federal alien-registration requirements a state misdemeanor;
- §5(C)makes it a misdemeanor for an unauthorized alien to seek or engage in work in the State;
- §6 authorizes state and local officers to arrest without a warrant a person “the officer has probable cause to believe . . . has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States”; and
- §2(B) requires officers conducting a stop, detention, or arrest to make efforts, in some circumstances, to verify the person’s immigration status with the Federal Government.
The Court struck down Sections 3, 5(C) and 6, ruling that these sections are pre-empted by federal law. However, the Court upheld the controversial Section 2(B), at least temporarily, holding that the state courts should have an opportunity to construe it and there should be some showing that §2(B)’s enforcement in fact conflicts with federal immigration law and its objectives.
I won’t bother to express my agreement or dissatisfaction with the decision made by far greater legal scholars than I. I think what we need to take away from this ruling today is that:
- AZ still has a tremendous illegal immigration problem;
- The Federal Government’s immigration policies are still broken;
- The Federal Government refuses to help Arizona enforce existing immigration laws, as evidenced by President Obama’s Executive Order; and
- The real losers today are you and me.
The message today is clear: law-abiding legal immigrants and American citizens, it sucks to be you.