Highlights from high court’s Arizona decision

Feel free to join me in a quick reading of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Arizona immigration law by clicking here.

My first impression is that, if you are a supporter of Georgia’s version, HB 87, your cheering may end up a little forced by the end of the document.

Yes, a five-member majority of the high court upheld the portion of the Arizona law (which has a parallel in the Georgia statute) that allows law enforcement to run citizenship checks on those arrested for other reasons, but the court declared that this approval was tentative and subject to future rulings.

Other sections of the Arizona law were overturned, including a provision making it a misdemeanor for an illegal immigrant to apply for a job. While acknowledging the state of Arizona’s legitimate concerns, the bulk of the language reasserts the federal government’s supremacy in immigration.

Walk with me through some excerpts of the majority decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy:

The Government of the United States has broad, undoubted power over the subject of immigration and the status of aliens….

The federal power to determine immigration policy is well settled. Immigration policy can affect trade, investment, tourism, and diplomatic relations for the entire Nation, as well as the perceptions and expectations of aliens in this country who seek the full protection of its laws….

It is fundamental that foreign countries concerned about the status, safety, and security of their nationals in the United States must be able to confer and communicate on this subject with one national sovereign, not the 50 separate States…..

Congress has specified which aliens may be removed from the United States and the procedures for doing so. Aliens may be removed if they were inadmissible at the time of entry, have been convicted of certain crimes, or meet other criteria set by federal law….

Removal is a civil, not criminal, matter. A principal feature of the removal system is the broad discretion exercised by immigration officials. Discretion in the enforcement of immigration law embraces immediate human concerns. Unauthorized workers trying to support their families, for example, likely pose less danger than alien smugglers or aliens who commit a serious crime. The equities of an individual case may turn on many factors, including whether the alien has children born in the United States, long ties to the community, or a record of distinguished military service. Some discretionary decisions involve policy choices that bear on this Nation’s international relations……

The pervasiveness of federal regulation does not diminish the importance of immigration policy to the States. Arizona bears many of the consequences of unlawful immigration. Hundreds of thousands of deportable aliens are apprehended in Arizona each year….

Statistics alone do not capture the full extent of Arizona’s concerns. Accounts in the record suggest there is an “epidemic of crime, safety risks, serious property damage, and environmental problems” associated with the influx of illegal migration across private land near the Mexican border….

Phoenix is a major city of the United States, yet signs along an interstate highway 30 miles to the south warn the public to stay away. One reads, “DANGER—PUBLIC WARNING—TRAVEL NOT RECOMMENDED / Active Drug and Human Smuggling Area / Visitors May Encounter Armed Criminals and Smuggling Vehicles Traveling at High Rates of Speed.” …The problems posed to the State by illegal immigration must not be underestimated…..

On making it a crime to walk around without papers:

Section 3 of S. B. 1070 creates a new state misdemeanor. It forbids the “willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document …. If [Section 3] of the Arizona statute were valid, every State could give itself independent authority to prosecute federal registration violations, “diminish[ing] the [Federal Government]’s control over enforcement” and “detract[ing] from the ‘integrated scheme of regulation’ created by Congress.”…

Were [Section 3] to come into force, the State would have the power to bring criminal charges against individuals for violating a federal law even in circumstances where federal officials in charge of the comprehensive scheme determine that prosecution would frustrate federal policies…..

On making it a crime to apply for work:

Unlike [Section 3], which replicates federal statutory requirements, [Section 5(C)] enacts a state criminal prohibition where no federal counterpart exists. The provision makes it a state misdemeanor for “an unauthorized alien to knowingly apply for work, solicit work in a public place or perform work as an employee or independent contractor” in Arizona. …Violations can be punished by a $2,500 fine and incarceration for up to six months…..

The legislative background of [a federal statute mandating the use of E-Verify] underscores the fact that Congress made a deliberate choice not to impose criminal penalties on aliens who seek, or engage in, unauthorized employment. A commission established by Congress to study immigration policy and to make recommendations concluded these penalties would be “unnecessary and unworkable.”

On empowering state law enforcement officers to arrest “deportable” aliens:

Section 6 of S. B. 1070 provides that a state officer, “without a warrant, may arrest a person if the officer has probable cause to believe . . . [the person] has committed any public offense that makes [him] removable from the United States.” Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §13–3883(A)(5) (West Supp. 2011). The United States argues that arrests authorized by this statute would be an obstacle to the removal system Congress created. As a general rule, it is not a crime for a removable alien to remain present in the United States. ….

Section 6 attempts to provide state officers even greater authority to arrest aliens on the basis of possible removablity than Congress has given to trained federal immigration officers. Under state law, officers who believe an alien is removable by reason of some “public offense” would have the power to conduct an arrest on that basis regardless of whether a federal warrant has issued or the alien is likely to escape.

This state authority could be exercised without any input from the Federal Government about whether an arrest is warranted in a particular case. This would allow the State to achieve its own immigration policy. The result could be unnecessary harassment of some aliens (for instance, a veteran, college student, or someone assisting with a criminal investigation) whom federal officials determine should not be removed.

This is not the system Congress created. Federal law specifies limited circumstances in which state officers may perform the functions of an immigration officer……
By authorizing state officers to decide whether an alien should be detained for being removable, [Section 6] violates the principle that the removal process is entrusted to the discretion of the Federal Government….

On requiring law enforcement to check the citizenship of stopped individuals:

Section 2(B) of S. B. 1070 requires state officers to make a “reasonable attempt . . . to determine the immigration status” of any person they stop, detain, or arrest on some other legitimate basis if “reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien and is unlawfully present in the United States.” …The law also provides that “[a]ny person who is arrested shall have the person’s immigration status determined before the person is released.”…..

However the law is interpreted, if Section 2(B) only requires state officers to conduct a status check during the course of an authorized, lawful detention or after a detainee has been released, the provision likely would survive pre-emption—at least absent some showing that it has other consequences that are adverse to federal law and its objectives.

There is no need in this case to address whether reasonable suspicion of illegal entry or another immigration crime would be a legitimate basis for prolonging a detention, or whether this too would be preempted by federal law. ….

The nature and timing of this case counsel caution in evaluating the validity of Section 2(B). The Federal Government has brought suit against a sovereign State to challenge the provision even before the law has gone into effect. There is a basic uncertainty about what the law means and how it will be enforced. At this stage, without the benefit of a definitive interpretation from the state courts, it would be inappropriate to assume Section 2(B) will be construed in a way that creates a conflict with federal law……

The dissent by Justice Antonin Scalia will no doubt spark some conversation, including this portion that defended a state’s rights to restrict access:

Notwithstanding “[t]he myth of an era of unrestricted immigration” in the first 100 years of the Republic, the States enacted numerous laws restricting the immigration of certain classes of aliens, including convicted criminals, indigents, persons with contagious diseases, and (in Southern States) freed blacks. … State laws not only provided for the removal of unwanted immigrants but also imposed penalties on unlawfully present aliens and those who aided their immigration…..

In fact, the controversy surrounding the Alien and Sedition Acts involved a debate over whether, under the Constitution, the States had exclusive authority to enact such immigration laws. Criticism of the Sedition Act has become a prominent feature of our First Amendment jurisprudence, see, e.g., New York Times Co. v. Sullivan… but one of the Alien Acts also aroused controversy at the time:

“Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That it shall be lawful for the President of the United States at any time during the continuance of this act, to order all such aliens as he shall judge dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States, or shall have reasonable grounds to suspect are concerned in any treasonable or secret machinations against the government thereof, to depart out of the territory of the United States . . . .”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

45 comments Add your comment

Just Nasty & Mean

June 25th, 2012
3:17 pm

Well, since Arizona cannot defend their sovereignty, and the US government is not doing their constitutional duty to protect our sovereignty-and…..

After the ruling, Napolitano immediately told Arizona that that existing agreements between Homeland Security and Arizona are now invalidated. So, DON’T CALL the US Gov’t to enforce the law.

It is a green light for illegals to enter Arizona EN MASSE, and they won’t be touched.

Arizona NO LONGER HAS ENFORCED BORDERS!

Eustis

June 25th, 2012
3:35 pm

You reap what you sow.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

June 25th, 2012
3:44 pm

Just Nasty & Mean

June 25th, 2012
3:17 pm

{{{”Arizona NO LONGER HAS ENFORCED BORDERS!”}}}

Arizona had enforced borders? That’s news to me! Since when?

I can’t ever recall Arizona ever having “enforced” borders, most certainly not with the help of th Federal Government, especially seeing as though Phoenix is annually second in the world only to Mexico City in the number of (drug cartel-related) kidnappings, registering 368 kidnappings in 2008.

td

June 25th, 2012
4:00 pm

Just Nasty & Mean

June 25th, 2012
3:17 pm

“After the ruling, Napolitano immediately told Arizona that that existing agreements between Homeland Security and Arizona are now invalidated. So, DON’T CALL the US Gov’t to enforce the law.”

I think this little move may have just guaranteed AZ and its 11 electoral votes to go to Romney. The Obama administration has thrown away NC and maybe IA and MO on his gay marriage declaration and now AZ with this slap.

All you progressives start practicing saying President Romney.

WOW

June 25th, 2012
4:05 pm

So Jim now that you have broken down the ruling can you guys change your bogus headline that the GA law could be boosed by this ruling. I am not normally one to complain about such things, but its factually incorrect.

TD:
Nice attempt on prediction in AZ, but until Romney comes up with an immigration position he will never cary AZ. The Hispanic vote is poised to go 80/20 for the President making it virtually impossible for Romney to win any state in the Southwest.

td

June 25th, 2012
4:17 pm

WOW

June 25th, 2012
4:05 pm

Hispanic population in AZ is 39% but only about 36% of them are registered voters. It will not be a 80% to 20% split and I will put money on it. Will you?

It all depends on how sick and tired the white independent voters are of Mexican drug cartel and illegals.

History Will Teach Us if we Will Learn

June 25th, 2012
4:18 pm

I’m not sure how this decision helps Romney. Justice Anthony Kennedy is a Reagan appointee and tends to the conservative except on a few issues. He seemed to be saying that Congress and the Executive Branch have wide latitude in interpreting and applying immigration law.

Aquagirl

June 25th, 2012
4:30 pm

Obama administration has thrown away NC and maybe IA and MO on his gay marriage declaration and now AZ with this slap.

Unfortunately for td, most people in Arizona understand the Supreme Court made this decision. It’s not like anything is new about Obama’s policies.

DannyX

June 25th, 2012
4:52 pm

“Obama administration has thrown away NC and maybe IA and MO on his gay marriage declaration and now AZ with this slap.”

This from td, the political genius that guaranteed Obama was going down in November because of $5 a gallon gasoline prices.

freedom from tyranny

June 25th, 2012
4:57 pm

I can’t wait to see dinosaur hands oblamey asked for his papers the next time he gets off the taxpayers plane in Arizona. Cuff him, Stuff him, and deport his sorry racists azz!

td

June 25th, 2012
5:00 pm

Aquagirl

June 25th, 2012
4:30 pm

Obama administration has thrown away NC and maybe IA and MO on his gay marriage declaration and now AZ with this slap.

Unfortunately for td, most people in Arizona understand the Supreme Court made this decision. It’s not like anything is new about Obama’s policies.

If you would have read my whole comment then you would have known it had nothing to do with the SC decision but rather with the DHS directors comments afterwords.

td

June 25th, 2012
5:01 pm

DannyX

June 25th, 2012
4:52 pm

“Obama administration has thrown away NC and maybe IA and MO on his gay marriage declaration and now AZ with this slap.”

This from td, the political genius that guaranteed Obama was going down in November because of $5 a gallon gasoline prices.

Taking me out of context. I said IF not because.

Here’s your sign.

Aquagirl

June 25th, 2012
5:22 pm

If you would have read my whole comment then you would have known it had nothing to do with the SC decision but rather with the DHS directors comments afterwords.

If you had any idea that the DHS Director wasn’t saying anything except “yeah duh, y’all don’t get to pick who gets deported” you might not be so excited. Of course if you didn’t view anything under the sun as the death knell for Obama, that might help your perspective.

Kris T (?)

June 25th, 2012
5:52 pm

Georgia is Number one in Illegal immigrants. Deporting them as well as Questionable police stops along with cavity searches. The CAVITY search also applies if you get stopped for whatever reason. What does it cost to deport a working immigrant with a family to support? Who pays?
Way to go DIRTY DEAL cavity search the citizens and deport the immigrates. Who is going to pick the crops.

OBAMA Nov. 6th 2012 HELL No on S-pLOST

Insanity prevails

June 25th, 2012
5:54 pm

Our country has been invaded by illegal immigrants who know how to play our system to get tax refunds, food stamps, free medical care, free school lunch program, subsidized housing, and jobs. Get an ITIN and file your 6 kids, all different last names, on a 1040 for the Additional Child Tax Credit, a refundable credit that acts just like a payment, and while paying not a penny in federal taxes, coup a $5,000+ refund check. Courtesy of tax paying Americans. Boy are we suckers. The future of our country gets dimmer each and every day, and the flood of illegal immigrants is only beginning.

td

June 25th, 2012
5:59 pm

Aquagirl

June 25th, 2012
5:22 pm

Yes and when all those reports start coming to the local news in Sept and Oct about x county called about x 100’s of illegals and the Feds refused to come and get them then we will see if the opinions of the people change.

findog

June 25th, 2012
6:31 pm

Now, things go back to the Bush era; but with tougher enforcement

Kris (buying bottle H2O)

June 25th, 2012
7:00 pm

GA looking good.
“The Kennesaw State University graduate whose close scrape with deportation kindled a national debate about illegal immigrants in public colleges went back to jail Monday to serve the last few hours of a three-day sentence for driving without a license.”
Only in Cobb Co
Poor little college girl (might add educated at that) WHY was it necessary to make her go back to jail for 11 hours (for another !@!#ty search .). Has she not been punished enough for paying tuition at a GA college ….like so many things in GA Its driven by utter stupidly ….God help us!
GA first in Immigration deportation
GA first on war on women
GA first on war on College students.
Vote out or disbar the judge
Vote no on t-spLOST —- OBAMA 2012

Attack Dog

June 25th, 2012
7:01 pm

Jan Brewer is batting .250 and claiming victory. Now she, and the Dixiecrats, is going to find out how messy that 25% is going to be defining “reasonable grounds.”

Attack Dog

June 25th, 2012
7:06 pm

1. Dixiecrats say that Obama failed to live up to his comprehensive immigration bill campaign promise. They fail to mention that they “won” theirs against Obama and and even their own, Bush!

Mandingo

June 25th, 2012
7:10 pm

Its a good thing America can depend on the US Congress to come up with a solution. For a minute I was thinking this un resolved problem would be like the budget problem the GOP has already solved . Everyone just needs to get on board with Grover Norquist and he will tell you what his Super PAC wants done. Nothing like good ole American values at work.

Attack Dog

June 25th, 2012
7:29 pm

Immigration and Healthcare are the Mack Trucks and Dixiecrats are the dogs chasing them. Question, what normally happens when the trucks stop?

td

June 25th, 2012
8:06 pm

All these states need to sue the Federal government for not enforcing the laws on the books and ask the court to make the Feds reimburse them for the services they are mandated to give to illegals (education and HC)

td

June 25th, 2012
8:11 pm

Attack Dog

June 25th, 2012
7:01 pm

Jan Brewer is batting .250 and claiming victory. Now she, and the Dixiecrats, is going to find out how messy that 25% is going to be defining “reasonable grounds.”

You seem to forget that there was only 4 parts of the bill that the appeals court found unconstitutional. The rest of the bill (like requiring all employers to use E-verify) are still intact. Out of the 4 provisions 3 were found unconstitutional and the most important part was found constitutional.

Kris

June 25th, 2012
8:18 pm

@ Attack Dog …I will add that to points to ponder..

@ TD .. how is the states going to pay for the suite? Divert T-spLOST dollars (Allegedly for roads and GOP pocket CHANGE) NOT!!
Raise tax on grocery’s and the poor?

I will admit both are good points.

tony

June 25th, 2012
8:19 pm

The court ruling means nothing because the executive branch is not going to enforce the ruling anyway…. there are plenty of laws on the books NOW to deal with illegal immigration and none of them are enforced, so are you telling me that the current administration is going to care weather or not Arizona or any other state takes on the problem without the support of the federal government?? give me a break,,,, each state should do whatever the hell they want about their immigration policies … what is the president going to do about it ??? send in the troops and oust the governor and the state legislature ??? i dont think so

DannyX

June 25th, 2012
8:25 pm

“Out of the 4 provisions 3 were found unconstitutional and the most important part was found constitutional.”

Of course if Obamacare has a similar outcome td will do a complete reversal. He’ll act like his team just won the Superbowl.

jconservative

June 25th, 2012
8:26 pm

“Well, since Arizona cannot defend their sovereignty,…”

Arizona has no sovereignty to defend. Arizona and the other 49 states gave up their sovereignty when they approved the Constitution or decided to join the Union. The Constitution creates one sovereign government, the United States of America,

[...] Also Galloway: Highlights from high court’s Arizona decision [...]

jconservative

June 25th, 2012
8:31 pm

“Out of the 4 provisions 3 were found unconstitutional and the most important part was found constitutional.”

This is 100% wrong! The part that was constitutional was the least important. All Arizona, or Georgia, or Alabama can do when they stop someone for a traffic offense, for example, is call the Feds if they check and they are illegal. And today the Feds told Arizona do not call us. So Arizona has zero authority. If they stop an illegal all they can do is turn him loose.

td

June 25th, 2012
9:16 pm

DannyX

June 25th, 2012
8:25 pm

“Out of the 4 provisions 3 were found unconstitutional and the most important part was found constitutional.”

Of course if Obamacare has a similar outcome td will do a complete reversal. He’ll act like his team just won the Superbowl.

This would be the same as saying the SCOTUS found the entire Obamacare law as unconstitutional except for the individual mandate.

td

June 25th, 2012
9:18 pm

jconservative

June 25th, 2012
8:31 pm

Obama will be out of office in 6 months and I will bet you that Romney will not tell ICE to hang up the phone.

Kris

June 25th, 2012
9:44 pm

@td
Who is Smutty going to call when he fires all the ICE Cops and outsources their jobs to ….wait for it…say Mexico and I quote “Romney of saying more cops, more firemen, more teachers are not needed”.

What’s going to happen in he event rommie wins and the house and senate are all Democrats….the same thing that has happened for the last 2 YEARS not a DAMN Thing…Except a more intelligent congress.

OBAMA 2012

td

June 25th, 2012
9:51 pm

Kris

June 25th, 2012
9:44 pm

Talk about taking things out of context. Romney was talking about borrowing more money from the Chinese to create additional state government (in most cases union) jobs. Those are not needed right now. ICE is Federal agency and if you will do a little research I think you will find that Romney wants to increase ICE jobs to secure the border.

As far as the Congress, even the most liberal politician admits that the house will remain in republican control and it is a 50/50 prop that the Senate will be in republican control.

ld

June 25th, 2012
10:17 pm

They, and Georgia, as needed, have the option to pass new re-worded laws to address the exceptions and defend it again — repeat– ’til GOP controls the WhiteHouse?

Kris

June 25th, 2012
10:36 pm

TD

I’m “Kind of like Popeye The Sailor Man I Calls En As I See Um”.

OBAMA 2012

td

June 25th, 2012
10:43 pm

Kris

June 25th, 2012
10:36 pm

TD

I’m “Kind of like Popeye The Sailor Man I Calls En As I See Um”.

OBAMA 2012

I can by that one since Popeye was blind in one eye.

Kris

June 25th, 2012
11:04 pm

td

“I can by that one since Popeye was blind in one eye.”

Popeye mostly comes to the truth by “accidentally” sneaking up on the villains, the moment they are bragging about their schemes’. He too renounces Rommie for his dime-store antics.

End the troll on GA 400 ;;;; Impeach DEAL
Enough Said.

OBAMA 2012

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

June 25th, 2012
11:40 pm

“The federal power to determine immigration policy is well settled.”

Also “well settled” was Congress’ role, alone, in resolving disputed Federal elections, until only the Roman Catholics of the Supreme Court’s ‘Bush v. Gore’ fraud cheated a homosexual draft-dodger into the White House to commit 9/11. Viz. Breyer’s ‘Bush v. Gore’ dissent.

Centrist

June 26th, 2012
12:01 am

Georgia’s anti-ILLEGAL immigration law is intact after the SCOTUS ruling – too bad Galloway.

What the feds do as directed by Congress and the President can change every two years.

hiram

June 26th, 2012
12:17 am

Neither party is going to do anything about illegal aliens, corrupt bankers, inside trading in congress, or any other of the infinite list of issues that only impact the middle class. The top socioeconomic echelon totally controls the entire political process and they handpick proxy candidates for both parties. Don’t tell td, but the Ds and Rs after the candidates’ names on the ballots are totally meaningless. Only the corruptible prevail as politicians, and that applies to both parties.

Buckhead Boy

June 26th, 2012
4:11 am

Distracted by this decision, you worry much about those who come here willing to harvest and prepare your food or tend your grounds, toiling for long hours with little worker protection; while on the same day the five doubled down on securing for you a system of government by legalized bribery? Better that you begin to empathize with the plight of the undocumented worker, because you are destined to suffer it.

RolandB

June 26th, 2012
5:12 am

Africa for the Africans,Asia for the Asians,white countries for EVERYBODY!
a) Genocide
Anti-racist is a codeword for anti-white

carlosgvv

June 26th, 2012
8:04 am

Are illegals knowingly allowed to apply for jobs in Mexico, Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Italy?

honested

June 26th, 2012
8:08 am

Unless the law is modified to provide substantial prison terms and confiscation of property from those who hire illegals, the outcome will be insignificant.

Hiring illegal aliens is a crime. Unless the GA One Party State is willing to supply a list of ‘crimes’ that will be overlooked, there is no reason to pretend to ‘enforce’ this law.