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Supreme Court Gives Partial Victory to States in Illegal Immigration Battle


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Today, the Supreme Court issued a ruling on the constitutionality of Arizona's immigration law, SB 1070. The Obama Administration sued to block the law and today the high court ruled on four of the provisions. It ruled three of the provisions as unconstitutional. They were:

Making it a crime for undocumented immigrants not to have identification;
Making it a crime for undocumented immigrants to work or apply for work; and
Allowing law enforcement officials to arrest undocumented immigrants without a warrant who are suspected of committing crimes that would lead to their deportation.
But they upheld one of the most discussed provisions of the law that requires law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of people whom they suspect may be in the country illegally, known as the "show me your papers" provision.

It's great to see the "show me your papers' provision of the Arizona immigration law has been upheld. The federal government continues to fail the states with its refusal to actually enforce immigration laws, forcing states like Arizona and Georgia to step in and figure out a way to fix their own illegal immigration problems. While it was disappointing to have the Supreme Court strike down some of the teethier provisions of the law, allowing the "show me your papers' provision to remain sets a precedent to allow states to implement immigration laws when the federal government fails to do so.

We don't know what this might mean for the Georgia law. The Obama Administration has not filed suit against Georgia yet -- although they have filed suit against South Carolina, Alabama, and Utah for similar immigration laws -- and we don't know if they plan to in the future. But at least the Court's decision does at least leave the door open for states to take care of what Washington has continued to fail to do. This gives Georgia a good argument in favor of our law if the president ever does sue to block it.

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