Effects of Supreme Court’s Stand on Arizona Law

Many experts predict that the U.S. Supreme Court will uphold some of Arizona’s immigration laws, including the more controversial provisions, including the one that requires police to check immigration status for anyone they arrest who they believe may be an undocumented immigrant. As a result of the expected U.S. Supreme Court decision, legislators in some states may push ahead for similar tough immigration measures. Americans for Legal Immigration and other states are pleased at where the ruling is headed and believe that similar laws can be passed in states across the country.

It is expected that the U.S. Supreme Court will make a ruling about Arizona’s law in June, after the Department of Justice’s appeal is considered. The Department of Justice has stated Arizona’s legislation conflicts with the fact that immigration policy has always been a federal domain. Under President Obama’s administration, a number of lower courts have already challenged Arizona’s laws.

Arizona’s laws are considered among the toughest in the country. One provision of the laws demands that immigrants carry documents at all times to prove their immigration status. Another provision of the laws permits police to arrest possible undocumented immigrants without warrants. Arizona lawmakers have argued that the laws are needed to combat undocumented immigration in the state because the federal government has done too little to stem the tide of undocumented immigrants in the area. Opponents of the laws say that they are too harsh and may encourage racial profiling.

The US Supreme Court ruling may also place more power in the hands of states if it upholds Arizona’s laws. While immigration policies have always been the prerogative of the federal government, if the Supreme Court agrees that Arizona has the right to create its own immigration laws it could set a precedent for other states to create and enforce their own immigration policies, according to legal experts. A number of states, including Indiana, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Utah, already have made steps to pass Arizona-style immigration laws but have put that legislation on hold pending the Supreme Court decision. Experts predict that if the Court decides to uphold Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070, other states may follow suit. It is possible that some states will even pass laws which are tougher than Arizona’s. Alabama, for example, is considering legislation which would require immigration status verification for many basic tasks, including applying for school and getting a driver’s license.