Today the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-to-3 decisions struck down three out of five provisions of Arizona’s immigration law, SB 1070. This decision is seen as a partial victory for the U.S. government and their position that immigration law is the sole preview of the federal government. This is also seen as a victory for the Obama administration that sued the state of Arizona when it implemented its far reaching immigration law.
One of the most controversial provisions of the law, the right of local police to request proof of someone’s legal status if there is ‘reasonable suspicion’ they are here illegally, was upheld with some warnings. Immigrant advocates and many in the Latino community have felt this provision if upheld would lead to racial and ethnic profiling of the community.
The court rejected Arizona’s request to charge immigrants with a misdemeanor if they were not carrying their appropriate documentation allowing them to be in the country; they also struck down SB1070’s provision to make it a crime if the undocumented apply for a job and finally Arizona cannot arrest someone ‘solely’ if they are suspected of being in the country illegally.
Many immigrant rights organizations are disappointed with the ‘papers please’ provision being upheld: “In one sweep, the Supreme Court has sided with Arizona and allowed racial profiling as an acceptable law enforcement tool,” said Angelica Salas, director of Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.