Supreme Court’s ruling on SB 1070 kills other states’ chances to pass immigration laws

Kristian Ramos, policy director of the 21st Century Border Initiative, writes an op-ed for the Huffington Post, stating that the three provisions that were struck down in Arizona’s SB 1070 anti-immigrant law where central to the ability of other states to create and enforce their own immigration laws. “If upheld they would have created legal precedent for other states to pass their own immigration laws outside of the existing federal ones. The Court was clear in striking down those three provisions; the Federal Government has pre-emptive powers in enforcing our nation’s immigration laws,” he writes.

The “papers please” provision was upheld because it mirrored an existing relationship between the United States and local law enforcement officials. Justice Kennedy writing for the majority wrote: “status checks [do] not interfere with the federal immigration scheme; the consultation between federal and state officials is an important feature of the immigration system.” Kennedy’s argument underscores why the court struck down the other three provisions: they were all written outside of the federal government’s immigration laws. Striking these three provisions down is a significant blow to other states thinking about passing their own immigration laws.

In some ways the political blow of the Court’s ruling is almost worse than the legal one. Romney is already distancing himself from his earlier position that SB1070 is a model for the nation. He now says we need a national federal solution. Romney now acknowledges that the court’s ruling gives states much less authority to pass their own immigration laws. He is now calling for a comprehensive Congressional fix to our immigration system.

Read the full article here.


About tanialara

Tania Lara has a vast experience working as a journalist in Mexico and the U.S. reporting in-depth about the economic contributions and realities of Mexican immigrants. This summer, she will be covering border issues and elections for the 21st Century Border Initiative blog. Her stories about complex cross border matters have been published in Spanish-language media outlets including CNN México, Expansión, and ¡Ahora Sí!, as well as the English-language newspaper The Austin American-Statesman.
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