i need response following
Arizona v. United States, 567 U. S. _ (2012)
Saint Leo University
July 14, 2014
This paper will be a brief examination of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Arizona v. United States. The case before the Supreme Court deals with a state law passed by Arizona which the federal government has asserted intrudes on the federal government’s powers concerning immigration and the enforcement of immigration statutes.
Key words: Arrest, border, immigration.
In 2010 Arizona passed a law, S. B. 1070, which was intended to address the numerous concerns dealing with what they perceived as the apparent disregard of the federal government to deal with ongoing problems created by illegal immigrants in their state. The federal government filed a suit to block the enforcement of this statute asserting that it usurped the authority granted by congress to the federal government alone.
The bill was signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer and was scheduled to go into effect on July 29, 2010. According to an article in the US News and World Report the law was the strictest anti-immigration law in the country.
The law was challenged in lower court and an injunction was issued prohibiting the enforcement of four parts of the law: state law officers determining immigration status during any lawful stop; the requirement to carry alien registration documents; the prohibition on applying for work if unauthorized; and permission for warrantless arrests if there is probable cause the offense would make the person is removable from the United States. (Morse, 2011) Arizona appealed and the case was heard by the 9th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals on November 1, 2010. The Appellate Court issued their ruling on April 11, 2011 and upheld the injunction thereby paving the way for the case to be heard by the U. S. Supreme Court. Oral arguments were held before the U. S. Supreme Court and the Court upheld three of the injunctions and overturned the fourth.
The first portion of the law that was found to be unconstitutional was the issue dealing with Section 3 of Arizona S. B. 1070. This section of the law made it a crime punishable as a misdemeanor for a person to fail to carry valid immigration papers with them. Arizona argued that this portion of their law was the same as an existing federal law which also required immigrants to carry their immigration paperwork with them.
The U. S. Supreme Court ruled against Arizona saying that the federal government alone has the power to decide what identification immigrants must carry. The Supreme Court also advised that even if the state law was identical to the federal law it was still invalid. The Supreme Court stated that this was a moot point since the state laws penalties were harsher than those contained in federal law.
The next portion of the law was section 5(C) of S. B. 1070. This section of the law, which did not have a federal counterpart, would have made a crime for an undocumented worker to obtain a job or even to apply for a job in Arizona. The Court ruled that the federal government had already taken steps to deal with employment issues when congress had passed a law which required employers to verify the immigration status of workers. This section was also ruled unconstitutional.
Section 6 of S. B. 1070 would have allowed the law enforcement officers of Arizona to arrest an undocumented alien, without a warrant, if there is probable cause to believe that they have committed a crime which would justify their deportation. The Court found that this too was the sole purview of the federal government and that the states did not have the authority to deport anyone.
The final portion of S. B. 1070 was upheld by the U. S. Supreme Court. Section 2(B) would permit law enforcement officers of Arizona to make inquiries into the immigration status of persons they had arrested. This is something that is already permitted under current federal law and is encouraged by congress for all local and state law enforcement agencies. (Howe, 2012)
While section 2(B) was upheld, it is unclear if it will survive further scrutiny by the court system if it causes those arrested to be held longer than they normally would or if causes unnecessary delays in releasing someone on bail. The Supreme Court decided that they would not overturn it until the state courts of Arizona had a chance to rule on it and since there was no showing that it was in conflict with federal statutes.
The ruling in this case clearly establishes that the local and state law enforcement agencies cannot interfere with and attempt to evade federal law and the enforcement of federal statutes by writing their own laws. There are certain powers and authorities that are reserved by the federal government that cannot be usurped by states.
The future implication for law enforcement is that they must seek to find solutions with issues that are not just local, but are state and sometimes national issues. In the ever polarized world of national politics where it is difficult to get some of our elected officials to talk rationally, it will be increasingly difficult to deal with these types of issues. What usually has to happen is a tragic event that causes wide spread disgust and anger at the state of affairs as the currently exist. Until the elected officials can put politics aside and do what is right for the country we will continue to have gridlock and will be dealing with more of these issues on a local level.
The issues raised by Arizona are nothing new. States, especially those on or near the border, have been complaining for many years about the inability or the indifference of the federal government to tackle the illegal immigration problems in the United States. Arizona attempted to take the bull by the horns and to enact state laws to combat the problem. Unfortunately the Supreme Court has ruled that there are certain things that fall under the purview of the federal government alone. This includes immigration.
One of the key points that has been lost in the on-going hyperbole over immigration is that no one is disputing the fact that our country is one founded by and with immigrants. The concern is not immigration, but the illegal immigration and the strain that it imposes on federal, state, and local agencies. Social services, schools, jails, and prisons are some of the institutions that deal with this on a constant basis. It stretches the already thin budgets of many places.
There are no easy answers and it will require compromise and hard work on the part of our legislators to find a solution.
Unites States Supreme Court (2012). Arizona et al v. United States, 567 US __ (2012)
Arizona Senate (2010). Support our law enforcement and safe neighborhoods act. Senate Bill 1070, Section 8, Cooperation and assistance in the enforcement of immigration laws.
Howe, A. (2012). S.B. 1070: In Plain English. Retrieved on July 15, 2014 from http://www.scotusblog.com/2012/06/s-b-1070-in-plain-english/
Morse, A. (2011). National Council of State Legislators. Retrieved on July 15, 2014 from http://www.ncsl.org/research/immigration/analysis-of-arizonas-immigration-law.aspx
Swanson, C. R., Territo, L., and Taylor, R. W. (2012). Police administration: structures, processes and behaviors (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson