9 On Your Side Immigration Watch
High court ruling on SB 1070: Whose victory?
Immigration attorney: Supreme Court largely sided with federal government
Reporter: Claire Doan
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) – The S.B. 1070 ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court came down the first thing Monday morning.
The high court struck down three provisions, stating that those parts of S.B. 1070 intrude on the authority of the federal government to regulate immigration. Those provisions: require immigrants to get or carry immigration papers, make it a crime to work or find work and allow police to arrest suspected illegal immigrants without a warrant.
However, the justices left the most controversial part of Arizona’s law intact: the part allowing police to check the immigration status of the people they detain whom they suspect of being illegal immigrants, as they enforce other laws.
Since then, both sides of the aisle are chalking up triumphs while the rest of the country watches to see how it will impact similar immigration laws in other states.
“The heart of Senate Bill 1070 has proven to be constitutional. Arizona and every state’s inherent authority to protect and defend its people has been upheld,” said Governor Jan Brewer at a press conference.
On the other end, State Senator Steve Gallardo (D-Phoenix) claimed: “This morning the U.S. Supreme Court sent a loud message to the governor and members of the legislature that you have overstepped your bounds. You have gone too far.”
But who really won?
Tucson Immigration Attorney John Messing said that – politics aside – the long-awaited ruling stripped S.B. 1070 of its expansive power.
“I think it was a decided victory for the government and a defeat for the governor,” Messing said. “It’s a message to all states that they cannot encroach upon immigration powers given to the federal government to control who is allowed and not allowed here.”
What does ruling mean for other states?
Messing said similar controversial laws in other states that are being challenged will continue making its way through the courts. However, the ruling today provides a definitive framework for how far states can go in enacting their immigration policies, and simultaneously provides judges with a guide.