Welcome back. We are currently discussing the Supreme Court decision involving the controversial immigration law that was adopted in Arizona and then closely reproduced in several other states, including South Carolina. The purpose behind the immigration law was to make it so hard for illegal immigrants to live in the state that they chose to leave.
The federal government challenged four main provisions of the law, three of which were struck down by the Supreme Court in a decision announced this week. However, there was one provision, which Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer called "the heart" of the legislation, that was not struck down.
This provision of the law instructs police officers to check the immigration status of those they stop or arrest crimes as minor as traffic violations if they have any reason to believe the person is an undocumented immigrant. Similar provisions have been adopted in South Carolina as well as other states.
The ruling states that the "show me your papers" provision must be applied narrowly, meaning that violations of rights could occur if suspects are detained for longer than they otherwise would be to run the immigration check.
Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, explained that the immigration check is likely only constitutional if completed during "the course of an authorized, lawful detention or after a detainee has been released." The decision also left open the possibility that the law could be challenged on grounds of racial profiling.
The American Civil Liberties Union has already announced that it is prepared to file as many lawsuits as possible in Arizona and other states to show that the "show me your papers" provision does, in fact, lead to racial profiling.
As you can see, the discussion is far from over when it comes to the controversial immigration laws that have been adopted in Arizona, South Carolina and other states. Stay tuned.
Source: Fox News Latino, "Arizona Immigration Ruling Gives Both Sides Something to Crow, and Cry, About," Roque Planas, June 26, 2012