Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Supreme Court Guts Arizona Law
I think, in this matter, the Supreme Court made a good constitutional decision. They basically gutted the Arizona law, and made it clear that states have no business making immigration law. Immigration law is the business of the federal government, and no one else. The Supreme Court said:
* Police may not stop and arrest individuals without a warrant just because they may look illegal (i.e., Hispanic).
* Immigrants who do not have, or fail to carry, immigration papers are not guilty of any state crime.
*Immigrants who seek or accept work without the necessary documentation are not guilty of any state crime.
The only provision of the law they left was to say it can be legal for a police officer to ask for immigration documents AFTER stopping a person for another offense. Basically, police in all states have always had this right (although most don't do it so they can keep a good relationship with the undocumented community -- so they will receive help in fighting real crimes). And the court said they might revisit this issue if the state violates federal law in carrying it out (which basically means the state police officials cannot racially profile people -- like asking only Hispanics for documentation).
This decision was a win for common sense and for the Constitution.