High Court Rejects Part Of Arizona Immigration Law

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Today's Supreme Court ruling had close Kansas ties and people close to the issue have been talking about the immigration ruling.

The court struck down three of the four provision in the Arizona law.

"For us here in Kansas, it just basically means that the decision is up to the legislature and up to us who elect them," said Emira Palacios, member of the Sunflower Action Group.

Palacios works on immigrant rights through the group and said the ruling contained a message for state legislators.

"The federal laws preempts any state law. I think that sends also a strong message to our legislators that really they should not be wasting their time on laws that cost a lot of money," she said.

House representatives like Steven Brunk discussed several immigration bills this past session in the Federal and State Affairs committee.

"We had two weeks of very, very good testimony and debate. I was very pleased with people on both sides very respectful," Brunk, who is the chairman of the committee.

The immigration bills did not leave the Kansas House. Two bills that were discussed included HB 2372, which had similar provision to the Arizona law, and HB 2712, which would have allowed undocumented workers to work legally in the state.

"There was just such a diverse number of opinions about what should be done with that," he said. "By the time the bills actually made it to the legislature, to the full house, there wasn't a real appetite for passing any of those."

Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, helped draft the provisions of the Arizona immigration law, and that worried Palacios.

"Regardless of what the Supreme Court decides, we still need to be worried about him pushing this legislature here in Kansas," Palacios said.

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UPDATE: Monday, June 25, 2012

Key parts of Arizona's immigration law have been struck down by the Supreme Court -- but not the provision requiring police to check the immigration status of someone they suspect is in the United States illegally.

Even there, though, the justices said the provision could face additional legal challenges. And while upholding the "show me your
papers" requirement for now, the justices took the teeth out of it -- by prohibiting police officers from arresting people on minor immigration charges.

The ruling was unanimous in allowing the status check to go forward. But the court was divided on striking down the other provisions.

The provisions that were struck down include one that required all immigrants to obtain or carry immigration registration papers. Also rejected was a provision making it a state criminal offense for an illegal immigrant to seek work or hold a job. And the justices said police can't arrest suspected illegal immigrants without warrants.

The Obama administration had sued to block the Arizona law soon after it was enacted two years ago.

Five other states have adopted variations on the law. Parts of those were on hold pending the outcome of this case.

Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas said they would have allowed all of the challenged provisions to take effect.

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