The Supreme Court on Arizona’s Controversial Immigration Law

On Monday, June 25, 2012, the Supreme Court struck down most parts of Arizona’s immigration law aimed at curbing illegal immigration. However, the court let stand a controversial provision that allows police to check someone’s legal status to stay in this country if they reasonably suspect when enforcing other laws. With a 5-3 split, the court upheld the federal government’s authority to set immigration policies and law. The Supreme Court also found that “The National Government has the significant power to regulate immigration.”

Members of the public line up outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, April 25, 2012, as the court held a hearing on Arizona’s “show me your papers” immigration law . (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

The critics say that leaving the door open to check once legal status to stay in this country violates personal rights and opens the door for racial profiling. The Governor of Arizona said that law will go into effect immediately allowing the provision to check one’s status to stay in this country while enforcing other laws such as traffic violations. The Governor further indicated that law enforcement in Arizona have been adequately trained on the subject.

The Arizona state government enacted the law in April 2010 and has been under legal challenge by the Federal government until the Supreme Court decision. The President indicated that the opening allowed by the recent decision will lead to racial profiling by the police.

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