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Supreme Court Allows Immigration Checks

Postmillennialism —  Leave a comment

Wall Street Journal — The Supreme Court struck down much of Arizona’s effort to crack down on illegal immigrants but left one key part intact in a ruling that gave both sides of the debate something to cheer.

In a 5-3 ruling, the court said Arizona in effect had tried to set up a parallel enforcement system that punished illegal immigrants more harshly and interfered with congressional authority over the nation’s borders. The court rejected parts of the state law known as SB1070 that made it a crime for illegal immigrants to seek work and that authorized warrantless arrests of people suspected by state and local police of committing deportable offenses.

But the court upheld for now the law’s directive that state and local police check the immigration status of people they stop when they suspect them of lacking authorization to be in the U.S. The justices observed that federal law already requires immigration officials to respond to status checks from local authorities.

The impact of the ruling was unclear Monday, as immigrants and advocates scrambled for answers from legal analysts and law enforcement. Most opponents of the law reacted with relief at the ruling, but some immigrant advocates said implementation of the law could still pose problems for immigrants.

“There’s still going to be a lot of uncertainty until it’s clear how police will approach this,” said Joe Rubio, lead organizer for Arizona Interfaith Network-Industrial Areas Foundation, a network of community organizing groups. “The state is going to have to monitor this very carefully” to avoid racial profiling, he said.

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