The Supreme Court today unanimously upheld a key provision of Arizona S.B. 1070 – a provision of the law that gives police authority to check the immigration status of a person while enforcing other laws if ‘reasonable suspicion’ exists that the person is in the United States illegally. That’s the good news.
The bad news: the high court struck down a number of other provisions which Arizona was relying on to secure its borders and protect its citizens. And, there’s more bad news. The provision upheld by the high court is actually in jeopardy because of President Obama’s selective enforcement of immigration laws.
Let’s not forget it was just days ago that President Obama actually changed immigration law by simply issuing a directive – an order to stop deporting many young illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
This did not go unnoticed by Justice Scalia who issued a stinging dissent that put this fact into proper perspective.
“The issue is a stark one: Are the sovereign states at the mercy of the federal executive’s refusal to enforce the nation’s immigration laws? A good way of answering that question is to ask: Would the states conceivably have entered into the union if the Constitution itself contained the court’s holding? If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign state. . . .To say, as the court does, that Arizona contradicts federal law by enforcing applications of federal immigration law that the president declines to enforce boggles the mind.”
As I told Megyn Kelly on FOX News today, Arizona and other states are in a difficult spot now. Even with a constitutional immigration provision upheld by the high court today, we have a president who picks and chooses which laws he wants to enforce.
As you may recall, we represented nearly 60 members of Congress and more than 65,000 Americans in an amicus brief filed with the high court backing Arizona S.B. 1070.
While acknowledging there will be more legal challenges, Arizona Governor Brewer called the high court’s decision to uphold the key provision of the law “a victory for the rule of law.” And the fact is that most Americans not only supported Arizona’s efforts, but wanted the Supreme Court to uphold the entire Arizona immigration law.
Today’s decision, compounded by the continuing overreach of President Obama, raises more questions than it answers when it comes to immigration reform. We will continue to back constitutional measures in Arizona and other states that want to secure their borders and protect their citizens.