Today, in a split 5-3 decision, the Supreme Court upheld the most controversial part of Arizona’s immigration law — the part that required police officers to check the immigration status of people they stop. Critics have said the Arizona law could lead to ethnic and racial profiling of the fast-growing Hispanic population in the United States. Hispanics are now the largest racial-ethnic minority group.
Reuters reports that in so doing, SCOTUS rejected the Obama administration’s stance that only the federal government should enforce immigration laws in the United States.
At the same time, SCOTUS also ruled against Arizona — that the three other challenged provisions went too far in intruding on federal law, including one provision that makes it a crime for illegal immigrants to work and another that requires them to carry their documents.
Arizona, on the southwest border with Mexico, two years ago became the first of a handful of U.S. states to pass laws aimed at driving illegal immigrants out, including requiring police to check the immigration status of anyone detained and suspected of being in the country illegally.
The battle over the law goes to the heart of a fierce national debate between Democrats and Republicans over what to do with the roughly 11 million illegal immigrants in the country.
A CNN/ORC poll conducted on May 29-31 found that 75% of Americans were in favor of Arizona’s immigration law, while only 2% opposed it.
The question now is whether that single provision upheld by SCOTUS today can stand on its own, or does the court action mean Arizona has to go back to the drawing board on their immigration law.
Full AZ ruling (link)
H/t FOTM’s Tina, Grouchy and moxielouise.