Supreme Court Blocks Parts Of Arizona SB 1070, Upholds “Show Me Your Papers”

On June 25th, 2012, the Supreme Court struck down three provisions of the controversial 2010 Arizona immigration law aimed at identifying, prosecuting, and deporting illegal immigrants. The blocked provisions made it a crime under state law for immigrants to fail to register with the federal government, for illegal immigrants to work or try to find work, and required police to arrest without warrants if they had probable cause to believe that individuals had committed deportable offenses.

However, the court upheld the law’s centerpiece, which critics have labeled the “show me your papers” provision. This provision “requires state law enforcement officials to determine the immigration status of anyone they stop or arrest if they have reason to suspect that the individual might be in the country illegally.”

The majority statement, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, summarized the court’s ruling: “Arizona may have understandable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration while that process continues, but the state may not pursue policies that undermine federal law.”

President Obama responded his approval of the court ruling while expressing his concerns that the remaining provision could lead to racial profiling. Governor Jan Brewer (R) of Arizona, applauded the court’s decision to uphold what she deemed the heart of the law, calling it a “victory for the rule of law” and for “the inherent right and responsibility of states to defend their citizens.”

What are your thoughts on the Supreme Court’s decision?

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