The Fate of Arizona’s Immigration Law

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The U.S. Supreme Court granted a petition for a writ of certiorari to hear an appeal in the case of Arizona v. United States, in which key provisions of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, SB 1070, were struck down as unconstitutional by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton. The 9th Circuit of Appeals upheld Bolton’s ruling last April.

Two of the blocked sections would make it a crime under state law for an undocumented immigrant to be present in the state, fail to register with the federal government and attempt to obtain work or to hold a job without governmental authorization. Another section mandates that law enforcement personnel ask about the immigration status of those they detain (for infractions unrelated to immigration) if there is reason to suspect the detainee may not be in the country legally. The fourth challenged provision allows for the warrantless arrests of individuals whom police officers have probable cause to believe have committed deportable offenses.

The 9th Circuit upheld the lower court’s decision to strike down these provisions on the grounds that they unconstitutionally invaded the U.S. government’s comprehensive immigration regulation authority under federal law.

Arizona has argued that SB 1070 aids the federal government in the enforcement of its immigration laws and directs “state law-enforcement officers to cooperate and communicate with federal officials regarding the enforcement of federal immigration law.” As a border state, Arizona has a particular interest in helping the federal government to enforce the law. According to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, 400,000 people live in Arizona illegally, and make up about 7 percent of the state’s workforce. She claims the number of illegal immigrants has increased by about 10,000 per year from 2000 to 2010, and “the federal efforts remain demonstrably inadequate.”

Nevertheless, the 9th Circuit appeals court rejected Arizona’s substantial state interest in helping to ensure effective enforcement of the federal immigration laws. It dismissed the idea that state efforts to facilitate federal enforcement or impose parallel prohibitions on conduct prohibited by federal immigration laws are an acceptable means to vindicate a state’s interest in protecting its citizens if the federal government does not want the state’s assistance.

Unlike the Supreme Court’s hearing of a constitutional challenge to Obamacare, in which it appears that Justice Elena Kagan does not intend to recuse herself even though she served as the Solicitor General when her office was considering litigation strategies to defend Obamacare in court, Justice Kagan is recusing herself in this case since the Obama administration’s decision to sue Arizona over SB 1070 occurred during her watch as Solicitor General. Exactly how she has distinguished the two situations remains unclear.

With Justice Kagan removing herself from the Arizona case, there is a possibility of a deadlock amongst the remaining eight Supreme Court justices, which would mean that the 9th Circuit decision striking down the key provisions of SB 1070 would stand as the final law on the matter. Thus, it will in all likelihood come down to what Justice Anthony Kennedy, frequently the swing vote on the Supreme Court, decides to do.

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  • fwcanada

    It’s hard to see any outcome that would help Obama. If he loses then it just reinforces in American’s minds their belief that he is trying to destroy the constitution and our way of life. If he wins then conservatives will be enranged and turn out massively to vote because they consider the court stacked with “liberals”. So…. Obama fails…. again.

  • MadeinUSA

    I think anyone who uses any term for illegal aliens other than illegal alien should be prosecuted as accessories to criminal activity under the RICO act.

    • Asher

      We all need to stand together on this, The Government is at fault here for not enforcing the border laws. Its called Collapse the system from within. Give illegals the same rights as tax paying American citizens, but the rub is that you and I are paying for these illegals with healthcare, education, drivers licenses, cell phones, and diapers. American cannot withstand all these assaults from within. The Sheriffs in Arizona have said these illegals are going everywhere, especially to Sanctuary Cities, and some of them are criminals and Terrorists! 17% of those detained already have criminal records in the United States. Fancy your child playing outside and being accosted by one of these people. I'm praying for Arizona's Sb 1070 to be declared Constitutional, and the Supreme Court to rule on the laws of this land, not the Corrupt Politics on this Issue.

  • jacob

    With all due respect, I believe the duty of a government is to protect its citizens and
    enforce he laws and not to be a king above its subjects and to whom they have to
    pay homage on top of taxes….
    The Federal Govmt. is the king and has been doing whatever he pleases in this
    issue and I believe that the chart for federation states in matters such as of
    immigration and borders are, the states handed over its enforcement to the
    federal govmt, right ???
    Now, if the govmt. for reasons of its own not the fault of the states fails to
    enforce said principles,ISN'T IT THE DUTY OF THE RESPECTIVE STATES
    Therefore, striking parts of this Arizona law on account of the accursed Political Correctness of which we are already up to our ears on bending over backwards
    to accomodate the whims of every minority in this country, isn't it time already to
    put an end to it , whether OBAMA and HOLDER like it or not ???????

    • Asher

      Thats the problem, the Government does not care about law abiding, honest, peaceful citizens. They side with the Dark Side.

  • jacob

    With all due respect, may I remind the writter of this article that he forgot to count
    the vote of Justice MONTEMAYOR in his figuring the outcome of the ARIZONA law
    issue at the hands of the SUPREME COURT ???
    Isn't she another OBAMA appointee….????

    • Joseph Klein

      She is part of the 3 (not counting Kagain) – Justices Breyer, Sottemeyer and Ginsburg

  • Whit

    It is my belief that Justice Elena Kagan is playing politics. I will recuse myself from immigration law, SB 1070, however on Obamacare I will not recuse myself. See I am fair and balanced. I am a good Supreme Court Judge, she was put there to protect Obamacare. Don't ask a progressive to be fair and balanced, because they are not.

    General. Exactly how she has distinguished the two situations remains unclear.

    • tanstaafl

      Fortune cookies? Tarot cards? Crystal ball? It's hard to tell……

      • intrcptr2

        She saw the tattoo on her ass that reads, "BHO".

  • sod

    A judicial system with good judges upholds the fairness and justice and makes a country prosper, while bad judges turn a country into chaos!

  • Brittanicus

    There are 20 million Americans out of work and you can help supply a job, which is at the moment held by illegal aliens. On a wide scale as ICE has completed an assault on suspicious business, as illegal labor has been caught, those jobs have rapidly been filled by authorized individuals. Legal Blacks, Hispanics, White, Middle Easterners, African countries and others to claimed a job. The E-Verify program will even open more jobs to the 22 million people who are waiting.

    A second bill that has 80 sponsors is H.R.140, titled the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011, which was introduced on Jan 5. 2011, by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) as of last month. This will ascertain that a baby smuggled into our nation, for the sole purpose of illegal parents to take advantage of the taxpayers. From the time of entry the parent can collect public entitlement, using the child as a fulcrum to remain here. Benefits will accumulate over many years of health care, education and further welfare supplements.

    Now we have to speculate if the diverse ‘denominational' bishops are in a contest to see who can be the most insensitive to their unemployed American parishioners. Unquestionably, the United Methodist, Episcopal and Lutheran bishops are vying for the title. Except more than 30 Catholic bishops have perhaps put themselves ahead of the pack with their latest letter that could be interpreted to mean that unemployed Catholics should thank illegal aliens for breaking the law and taking their jobs?

    THOSE BISHOPS SIDING WITH THE INVADERS HAVE PUT THEIR CATHOLIC PARISHIONERS OUT OF WORK. Nobody is financially damaged more by the presence of foreign nationals than Hispanic-Americans who excessively live in the same communities and seek work in the equivalent non-agricultural occupations as illegal aliens.

    Not a soul would be helped more than Hispanic-Americans by the passage of a 50-state mandatory E-Verify bill that would move illegal aliens out of their jobs and open them up for unemployed Americans.

    But because high-immigration levels has become a religion for so many bishops, they unable to see their own anguished parishioners who are right in front of them asking for their version of "a cup of water."

    Without doubt, no individual begrudges these bishops their high work to provide spiritual and basic physical support for illegal aliens, even as they would for those incarcerated. These are all humans who deserve the care of a church if they desire it, regardless of the laws they have broken. But these crusading churchmen need to re-examine their ideals about justice before they do more harm to the most helpless members of our national community by continuing to encourage a variety of versions of open-border ideologies.

  • Brittanicus

    With the catastrophe escalating over illegal immigration, there seems to be only a few new laws that formulate any sense to the American people. To stop both parties from superseding any previous laws from Congress, the only possible way to stop illegal immigration, is at the source? That is the business who hires illegal labor, and controlling it with the mandatory law titled ‘The Legal Workforce ACT’ (Bill H.R 2885.) Commonly known as E-Verify that will identify foreign nationals, sneaking into the workplace with stolen ID or whoever procured. Lamar Smith of Texas was the originator of the law, which had been created as a pilot program by former President Bush. To contain the Liberal Progressives in the Obama Administration from suing Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, Utah, Georgia for trying to save further erosion of state funds by illegal aliens, they were forced to enact strictly policing laws. The courts have used their empowerment to place a huge burden on citizens and residents many unfunded mandates, with little financial aid from the government covering three decades.

    The bounty for illegal aliens who reach these shores, cross borders or deliberately enter under false pretenses from international flights is over a hundred billion dollars a year and rising per annum. Today it has emasculated states like California, Nevada and Texas. The only way to find a way out of this disorder is not through Former Speaker Newt Gingrich ideology, but through strict recourse of enforcing our laws. Since the 1986 Immigration Control and Reform Act nobody in Washington had had the people’s welfare in mind, until the sudden exploitation by foreign nationals on Arizona.

    While the Supreme Court fumbles over Arizona’s SB 1070 tough enforcement bills, we have a limited time to press for passage of E-Verify. Otherwise SCOTUS, could swing every way and America could find our ‘Rule of Law” by states becomes even more restrictions. Numerous states who are adverse to Obama National Health Care, we can effuse the House of Representatives pass the ‘The Legal Workforce ACT’ Ongoing as it is, the law to be read needs only 30 more co-sponsor out of a 100. Just yesterday a second Democrat Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) has added his name to the list. It’s been hard going, but thousands of well-informed Americans see this as a deterrent to claiming back payroll jobs, to US workers. Much more can be read about the nationwide E-Verify program by going to the NumbersUSA website. You can also participate by call you’re US or state Senator or Congressman at 202-224-3121. This is your connection to Washington and the operator will direct you to every politician’s office.

  • Brittanicus

    All are connected by the thread of financial instability? Americans seem to underestimate the cost for subsidizing illegal parents with their children. Smuggled into the United States through international airline terminals a immigration official is unable to determine if a women is pregnant and coming here to relive Americans of their welfare and public assistance programs. This is not confined to just airlines as any entry port along the border, is just as open to a female carrying a fetus. It is estimated that 300.000 women enter America under force deception, solely to gain free health care for their unborn child; others simply reach America through the thousands of miles of undefended border. The United States has an antiquated system of entry, without any means of tracking the individual once inside our borders. But however charitable our country is, we just cannot continue on this path. Costs are just gargantuan, which is further attenuated by the unsympathetic judicial systems that have forced taxpayers to carry the outrageous burden of the payee for everything financial? By law taxpayers are extorted of through taxes for illegal children to k-12, with free breakfast and lunches.

    Under the present law must pay for food stamps, low income housing; just to name a few. No state is exempt from the 14th Amendment law, to supply free welfare to any child born within the USA. Currently there is a bill in passage with 80 sponsors to stop this travesty of our laws. Rep. Steve King's (R-IA) Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011, which would stop the misinterpreted practice of instant citizenship to children of illegal alien parents, unless one parent is either a citizen or naturalized citizen. Change is needed and only voters harassing their US and state lawmakers, will bring some sanity to this notorious law. Change also is required to stop nationwide businesses hiring illegal workers. Every American has heard of the Mandatory E-Verify law that has now 72 sponsors. With only 28 co-sponsors to go forward, the E-Verify, ‘THE LEGAL WORKFORCE ACT’ can and will punish employers who hire unauthorized workers. Again American voter’s participation can make the difference by pressing Congressional members in the House to pass this bill. The ‘Legal Workforce Act’ is massively beneficial to jobless people, who quickly see an opportunity when work is scarce. Commit yourself to contact your Representatives and insist they sponsor ‘The Legal Workforce Act’ The bill will have the advantage of not only penalizing inveterate business owners, but this potential law will send illegal aliens scurrying home, as with no work available that is their only option, taking family members with them.

    This will bring to a halt of intimidation by the Department of Justice on states that has found it impossible to keep financially supporting millions of invaders who arrived and stayed, by whatever means. This is all complicated by the attachment of faith groups, the radical open border nuts and the special interest lobby, who think we own the world a living. THEN ALABAMA FOR INSTANCE HAS SEEN A CONSIDERABLE DROP IN UNEMPLOYMENT, SINCE THE ENACTMENT OF IMMIGRATION POLICING LAWS. Just remember that most business owners have no conscious, just the thought of cheap labor adding to the additional profits; or the Democratic side perpetually looking for more voters, no matter the consequence to the working population. We saw this materialize in previous elections with the ACORN organization registering non-citizens to vote. There have been eleven State attorney General prosecuting these people, but there already setting up the canvassers under a different name. Our voting system has been compromised, so we must demand everybody who votes possess some kind of official picture ID.

    Either party seems to ignore the fact that taxpayers must bear the cost of carrying people from other countries and this is entirely wrong. Our country is being vigorously reset by the Liberal extremists and progressives and radical environmentalists. The latter would have all on bicycles than exploit the huge mineral and oil resources that lay beneath the earth. We have a massive abundance of oil deposits, natural gas, clean coal that can power our country for generations. Doesn’t mean we cannot tap the wind, geothermal a solar energy, but not rides into it blindly as President Obama and others have tried to do. Recognize that the TEA PARTY are the only sane party (The American physical Conservatives) and Independents for avoiding deficit spending, reduction of overall government spending, national debt reduction, free trade, deregulation and of ultimate importance lower taxes. This includes rigid enforcement of all laws and no amnesty for persons who trespass in our country.

    As a voter its imperative you call Washington at 202-224-3121, or you can read about this indignation at NumbersUSA website. America does and always has welcomed—LEGAL IMMIGRANTS—and always will. The 50 states also welcome highly skilled workers who are educated in the Sciences, Engineering and technology. These Immigrants will never end up in the welfare lines. This country must inhibit the poverty from other countries, as we cannot even look after our own people who are in dire need of food and a decent life.


  • Brittanicus


    Wouldn't it be a novelty if the U.S. government worked for the major majority of the American people? Instead they have cultivated a relationship with Communist founded (ACLU), American Civil Liberties Union and the (SPLC) Southern Poverty Law Center, now being sued for slander, libel and defamation by Richard Mack, former sheriff of Graham County, Arizona, and founder of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. Even Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been verbally assassinated for carrying out his duties. The Liberal media has perpetuated this issue, as they cannot disguise their heavily pro-illegal alien stance. But the Obama Administration seemed to be adverse against laws, which constitute the removal by deportation of illegal migrants and immigrants. At a steady pace Obama's Department of Justice was asserting its power earlier the administration to do exactly that, but then the president exercised his authority by executive order, without too much notice cut back on apprehensions of foreign nationals within the 50 states. Since his advancement of a second term in the Oval office, he seems to be genuflecting to the largest block of all, the Hispanic population. He has had a failing grade by illegal and legal immigrants, and now to curry favor has directed ICE agents not to apprehend illegal aliens who have minor criminal records or not at all.

    While patriotic Americans, the TEA PARTY are resolutely against this sudden outrageous act, with a stroke of Obama's pen. The 'Rule of Law' handed down to us from the 1986 Immigration Control and Reform bill has additionally been subverted to gain an advantage with the millions of foreigners who have illegal settled here. Today our enforcement laws are a 'Lost Cause" as the border fence is a poor example of what the perimeter is supposed to be on our Southern Border. The fence that remains incomplete is still easily skirted by drug cartel gangsters and the smuggling of human cargo into our cities. The Americans who along the border region, still live in fear of hostile invasion of persons, cutting cattle fences, leaving piles of garbage and some who even violate their homes. I have heard that the numbers of migrants arrested have dropped, but what about the 20 million plus already here, what about the 8 or 9 million who have jobs, that if displaced would soon be occupied by citizen and permanent residents. Even today the private business sector still believe they are above the law, but even the slowdown of immigration audits have a very different opinion as business that hire foreigners are on the federal court dockets.

    Even so Mayors like Antonio Villaraigosa thinks enforcement laws, don't apply to them. The spendthrifts in Washington has never owned up to the ongoing expenditures for the illegal alien assault? Although highly studied by the Heritage Foundation projects costs of $113 billion dollars annually. Then the godfather Sanctuary city of Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich claimed the "total cost for illegal immigrants to county taxpayers" was more than $1.6 billion in 2010.


    After Newt Gingrich speech that people who have been here for 25 years, should be at least be able to stay. However this would be an impossible task, as everyone who have overstayed are guilty of a—FELONY. To Work, to get a job they are culpable by ID theft. They must have fraudulent ID to be hired and further to obtain other official documents.

    This Los Angeles Mayor has corresponded with ICE, because he doesn't want to impose 'Secure Communities, on the gigantic illegal alien neighborhoods, especially when Secure Communities roots out the invaders through fingerprints sent from local police to ICE. However, what makes his county or city any different from the rest of the country? Then Mayors, chief of police and other elected officials also think their exempt, by enacting ordinances to adopt Sanctuary Cities. Similar event is occurring in New Haven Connecticut where this mindless Major DeStefano wants illegal aliens the right to vote and is going to lobby the state legislature to allow the communities immigrants, including non-citizens, to vote in local elections. A new Pew Research Center poll for 2012 elections has indicated that incensed members of the public are going unseat incumbents throwing them out of office. Perhaps while the American electorate are in this angry mood they should add Governors, Mayors and city Councilors to the list. Head the list with Mayor DeStefano, as Non-citizens means illegal immigrants can vote in local elections to assure the mayor cannot lose the next election as he almost did in the past election. Add Mayor Villaraigosa, as he desires to undermine what little enforcement ICE has the authority to impose. Illegal Immigration is riding high with the economy and jobs.