Before stricter immigration laws were passed in South Carolina and several other states, Arizona became the first to implement legislation aimed at making it nearly impossible for undocumented immigrants to live or work in the state. Arizona lawmakers reasoned that the federal government had failed to solve the illegal immigration issue, so they decided to take the matter into their own hands.
In April, two years after the controversial law was adopted, it was challenged before the United States Supreme Court. The federal government argued that the law is invalid because the federal government has the constitutional right to oversee immigration policy, not the individual states. Human rights groups argued that the law violates the rights of immigrants and encourages racial profiling.
After weeks of waiting in anticipation, a decision was finally announced by the Supreme Court this week. The Supreme Court ended up striking down three of the four provisions of the law that were at issue in the case.
First, the Supreme Court struck down the provision that makes it illegal under state law for undocumented immigrants to reside in Arizona or seek employment there. Additionally, the Supreme Court struck down the provision that would have allowed police to arrest people who are merely suspected of residing in the country illegally.
Even though the Supreme Court provided some clarity with regard to Arizona's immigration law and those like it, there are still ambiguities that remain. Please check back later this week for more on this important issue, including the controversial provision of the Arizona law that the Supreme Court left intact.
Source: Fox News Latino, "Arizona Immigration Ruling Gives Both Sides Something to Crow, and Cry, About," Roque Planas, June 26, 2012