I Can’t Decide What’s More Upsetting-The Supreme Court Giving Partial Approval to Arizona’s Immigration Law or Governor Jan Brewer Claiming Total Victory!
Let me start by affirming that the Supreme Court struck down 3 of the 4 elements of Arizona SB1070. The specifics of this are:
- The Supreme court said it is not a crime for undocumented immigrants not to carry an alien registration document.
- The Supreme Court said it is not a crime for undocumented immigrants to look for a job or perform work in Arizona.
- The Supreme Court said it would not be legal for a state or local police officer to conduct an arrest without a warrant when police have probable cause to believe an individual committed a felony, a misdemeanor or a crime that would make them removable from the United States.
The Supreme Court did uphold that state and local law enforcement officers in Arizona are authorized to determine the immigration status of anyone they reasonably suspect might be in the United States illegally. Law enforcement can ask for an Arizona driver’s license, Arizona ID card, tribal enrollment card or other official ID issued by a US federal, state or local government.
On the surface, this seems to say that when an undocumented person follows the law and stays out of trouble, there is not likely to be any reason for an officer to stop and ask to see identification. Since the majority of immigrants are not drug dealers, thieves, or murderers we can only hope that they will avoid this situation entirely. Of course I crossed my fingers when I said (wrote) “hope”. An officer with time on their hands can profile a person who j-walks and ask for documentation when on any other day or for any other person that would be ignored. So much for the 4th Amendment!
Then there’s Jan Brewer: The woman who had no problem pointing her finger at the President of the United States as if she were scolding him for eating cookies before dinner. Not only is she claiming victory, she claims this is vindication of her state’s active position against undocumented immigrants to safeguard Arizona. The 10th Amendment is written on her bathroom mirror. I suppose in true political fashion the Governor knows how to make lemonade out of lemons. Unfortunately all her bravado is giving rise to more anti-immigrant activists who join her in her delusion that one State in the union can preempt the laws of the United States.
I say let’s see how this works in about 2 years when Arizona’s economic ecosystem starts to suffer because all that inexpensive labor has gone missing. --M