The U.S. Supreme Court handed down a mixed verdict on Arizona’s hotly debated immigration laws Monday, striking down much of the legislation but unanimously upholding the most contentious component of the law.
The Court ruled 8-0 that police in Arizona could request proof of legal residency from someone confronted over an unrelated violation if there is probable cause to believe the person may be here illegally. The high court also struck down provisions that would make it a state crime for illegals to apply for or hold a job. Illegals will also not be guilty of a state crime for not having proof of their legal residency on their person. All three of those provisions are currently in the federal law, but the Court ruled the state had no business entering an area of the law that was the domain of the federal government.
Justice Antonin Scalia wanted the entire law upheld, saying Arizona should not be punished for wanting to enforce laws the federal government won’t enforce. He also said this ruling questions whether states can be considered to have any sovereignty.
California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is one of the staunchest voices in Congress for tougher border enforcement. He says the most important part of the Arizona law is the portion the court upheld and provides local and state authorities with much more latitude to keep their people safe. He does not appear worried about the components that were struck down, and he blames Democrats for failing to get serious about protecting our borders. Finally, Rohrabacher explains why President Obama’s recent efforts to attract Latino votes through leniency toward young illegals is going to backfire.