Thursday, July 5, 2012
HOW THE SUPREME COURT ARIZONA IMMIGRATION LAW AFFECTS GEORGIA'S HB87
While I was out of the country last week, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down these provisions of the Arizona anti-immigration law SB1070 as being preempted by federal law: 1) the provision requiring immigrants to carry registration papers; 2) the provision prohibiting immigrants who are not in the country legally to seek work in the State; and 3) the provision allowing police to stop and arrest someone they suspect of being illegally here (AKA "Driving While Hispanic"). The Supreme Court did not strike down the provision requiring police to try to ascertain the immigration status of anyone they arrest after they have probable cause to arrest them, because it said it needs to be “tested” in state court. That essentially means they need to see it in practice to see if it violates any constitutional rights or conflicts with federal law. That part is the real “show me your papers” provision because that is what leads to racial profiling. They are not allowed to stop someone just because they suspect they are illegally here, but once they have stopped someone (for example for speeding or another offense) they can inquire into their immigration status. This is a similar provision to the Georgia law. So “show me your papers” is not dead, only half way dead. It will go into effect partly as described above, but it still could be struck down later. The Supreme Court's decision is a lot better than what everyone was predicting. It is really key that the Supreme Court found all of those other provisions preempted by federal law. It’s also a big win for Obama, which he sorely needs to get re-elected.