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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

Supreme Court to weigh in on Arizona immigration battle - Kagan Recuses Herself

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The Arizona State Attorney General received an early Christmas present yesterday.  The United States Supreme Court agreed to review the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision relating to four provisions of the highly controversial Arizona immigration law known as S.B. 1070.


The four enjoined provisions direct state law-enforcement officers to cooperate and communicate with federal officials regarding the enforcement of federal immigration law and impose penalties under state law for non-compliance with federal immigration requirements.



The four provisions in question are as follows: 



  • The requirement that police when making a stop to attempt to determine an individual's immigration status should an officer have a "reasonable suspicion" that the individual is in the United States in violation of immigration laws.  If arrested, an individual is precluded from release until immigration status is verified by the federal government.

  • A provision requiring that criminalizes the act of intentionally failing to obtain and carry proof of lawful immigration status while in Arizona.

  • The inclusion of a misdemeanor offense for the act of applying for employment,  publicly soliciting employment, or working in Arizona without authorization.

  • Permission for a probable cause warrantless arrest of any person should a police officer reasonably believe that the individual has committed any crime, anywhere, that would subject them to removal from the United States.



The question is presented before the Supreme Court is "whether the federal immigration laws preclude Arizona's efforts at cooperative law enforcement and impliedly preempt these four provisions of S.B. 1070 on their face."


Justice Kagan took no part in the consideration or decision of the Court to review the case, and has recused herself.  As a result, only 8 members of the Court will render a decision.



The following is the procedural history of the case courtesy of SCOTUSBlog.com



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  1. Jack's Avatar
    States can allow immigration arrest authority. When they do, some local law enforcement agencies already allow for such arrests. So why can't a state compel ALL local law enforcement agencies to do what some already legally do anyway? Judge Bolton didn't address this clearly. The law, as written, provided more protection than legally required as far as "racial profiling". So it was a stretch to enjoin arrests under 1070.
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