This week’s Supreme Court ruling over Arizona’s Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, known as Senate Bill 1070, will directly impact an estimated 360,000 undocumented immigrants living in that state, and it could have broader repercussions in other states with similar initiatives.
Legislators around the nation are closely following the Arizona case through its court briefs. Sixteen states have supported Arizona, while 11 sided with the federal government. Similar laws are under challenge in lower courts in Georgia, Alabama, Utah, Indiana and South Carolina. Arizona's appeal is the first to reach the Supreme Court.
Arguing border-related violence and crime due to illegal immigration, and accusing the federal government of neglecting the issue, legislators in the Grand Canyon State passed SB1070, which was signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer, on April 23, 2010.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) sued the Arizona government charging that the cited law cracking down on illegal immigrants conflicts with federal law, would disrupt immigration enforcement and would lead to racial profiling. It also affirms the state's measure is unconstitutional.
"The Constitution and the federal immigration laws do not permit the development of a patchwork of state and local immigration policies throughout the country," says the lawsuit filed in federal court in Arizona, on July 06 2010.
The four blocked provisions of SB1070 pending a verdict are:
1.- The authority given to police officers to verify a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws if there is "reasonable suspicion" that the person is in the U.S. illegally.
2.- A provision authorizing police to arrest immigrants without warrant where "probable cause" exists that they committed any public offense making them removable from the country.
3.- Making it a state crime for "unauthorized immigrants" to fail to carry registration papers and other government identification.
4.- A ban forbidding those not authorized for employment in the United States to apply, solicit or perform work, including laborers standing in a commercial parking lot who show willingness to be employed.
Upon the announcement of the Supreme Court ruling on the legality of Arizona’s SB1070, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) will hold a vigil and a rally. A press conference with elected officials and civil rights leaders will follow the day after the ruling is announced.