June 25, 2012 Arlington VA
The Supreme Court announced its decision today in the Arizona Illegal immigrant case, and found that the State of Arizona has the right to tell its police officers they can check the legal status of those they stop for other matters. Three other parts of the law making illegal aliens in Arizona a crime; working as an illegal; and other more minor issues were struck down as prerogatives of the Federal Government.
While the results were mostly expected, it was the rhetoric of the Justices on both sides that really set the tone of the decision. The Court said, in essence, the Federal Government was pre-eminent in immigration matters, and the Federals could decide to enforce or not enforce the law as they chose. That gave some support to the Obama administration argument they could selectively prosecute, and decide to allow illegals to stay in the country as the most recent executive order specified.
Conversely, the Court also allowed the State of Arizona leeway in allowing the local police to document illegals when they had been stopped for other alleged offenses. The Justice Department was quick to announce they would be 'looking closely' at Arizona efforts to ensure that racial profiling was not taking place.
The Court remanded (sent back) the case to the District Court Judge with instructions to remove the injuction as it related to police information-gathering and notifications to ICE.
This will not be the last of what is heard about immigration reform, and allowing illegals to stay in the US -- at least through the election, since the Obama Administration is hoping that a significant number of these people will vote Democrat in the upcoming November elections.