Arizona ruling appropriate

Tuesday , June 26, 2012 - 9:41 AM

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Editorial Board

However, the high court seemed to disagree with that. The justices upheld decisions that blocked Arizona’s efforts, under SB1070, that would have prosecuted illegals to seek work or carry documents. In what seems a prudent move, the high court also decided it wants further review of one portion of SB1070 that allows law enforcement officers the right to check the immigration status of persons the officers stop for other criminal purposes. Because law enforcement routinely checks suspects for crimes they may have committed, there remains a possibility this part of the Arizona law may be constitutional. Nevertheless, immigrants rights groups will likely challenge that provision, and it may eventually return to the Supreme Court.

However, even this allowance of one part of SB1070 has been watered down by the justices. Once they have detained an illegal, Arizona’s law enforcement officers now must check with federal immigration officials before the person can be held.

What this means for Utah’s immigration laws is still unclear, particularly in regard to efforts to set up an ID program for illegals to work here in a guest-worker status. The high court ruling was focused on SB1070, which deals primarily with law enforcement and states’ abilities to detain those in the U.S. illegally.

Yet the court did put a block on states’ efforts to effect radical changes to immigration law. That remains the purview of the feds.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down most of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, SB1070, was the right call. States, including Arizona and Alabama, do not have the right to enact large-scale immigration laws. That duty is reserved for the federal government.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney commented on the decision shortly after its release. Not surprisingly, he criticized President Barack Obama for not moving quicker during his term on immigration reform. Romney also stated that states should have the right to secure their own state borders.

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