Monday, June 25, 2012
© Copyright 2013
Gwinnett Daily Post
PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Monday to uphold part of the state's immigration law was a victory for all Americans.
Despite the court striking down key provisions of the statute, Brewer said the heart of the law can now be enacted. The court upheld the "show me your papers" provision, which allows police to check the status of someone they suspect is in the U.S. illegally.
The ruling, however, took the teeth out of the provision by prohibiting police officers from arresting people on minor immigration charges.
The justices also added that the provision could be subject to additional legal challenges. Critics of the law have argued that it allows police officers to racially profile people. Brewer said officers who use the law to violate a person's civil rights will be held accountable.
Immigrant rights advocates said they planned to ask police departments how they will enforce the law.
Puente Arizona director Carlos Garcia said President Barack Obama can put an end to this by having federal immigration officers cease working with local police.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the opinion for the court that was unanimous on allowing the status check to go forward. The court was divided on striking down the other portions.
They were the sections that required all immigrants to obtain or carry immigration registration papers, making it a state criminal offense for an illegal immigrant to seek work or hold a job and allowing police to arrest suspected illegal immigrants without warrants.
The Obama administration sued to block the Arizona law soon after its enactment two years ago. Federal courts had refused to let the four key provisions take effect.
Arizona has spent almost $3 million defending the law for the last two years, the Arizona Republic reported Monday.
Five states -- Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah -- have adopted variations on Arizona's law. Parts of those laws also are on hold pending the outcome of the Supreme Court case.