Supreme Court Listens to Immigration Law Case
Chief Justice John Roberts stated at the beginning of the administration’s argument that issue was solely state-versus-federal power, not the civil rights concerns that already are the subject of lawsuits.
Conservative and liberal justices were skeptic to the administration’s argument that the state exceeded its authority when it made the records check, and another provision allowing suspected illegal immigrants to be arrested without warrants.
Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. tried to convince the justices that they should approach the law in its entirety, and as inconsistent with the federal immigration policy. He said the record check would allow the state to “engage effectively in mass incarceration” of immigrants lacking documentation.
Roberts took issue with this comment by claiming that the federal government has chosen not to know about illegal immigration. He pointed that the law only allows the state to notify the authorities of illegal immigrants.
The clashing views of immigration follows the view of a half-dozen Republican-dominated states have passed their own restrictions of frustration with what they call Washington’s inaction to combat the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants.
Currently, the Arizona law is suspended until a decision is reached. Parts of laws adopted Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah are waiting for the court’s decision as well.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.