US awaits Supreme Court decision on immigration enforcement


After a hearing in April, the Supreme Court has yet to release a statement concerning the decision on whether or not Arizona’s immigration enforcement law is constitutional.

The immigration enforcement law passed in 2010 requires all alien immigrants over the age of 14 who stay within the U.S. for more than 30 days to register with the government and have their documents on them at all times. The law also states that law enforcement officers are required to determine an individual’s immigration status during a “lawful stop, detention or arrest” if there is reason to suspect that the individual is an illegal immigrant.

Arizona governor Jan Brewer stated in a news release in 2010 that “the truth is the Arizona law is both reasonable and constitutional. It mirrors substantially what has been federal law in the United States for many decades. Arizona’s law is designed to complement, not supplant, enforcement of federal immigration laws.”

Currently, 34 other states in the U.S. agree with this statement and are considering enacting this law pending the decision of the Supreme Court.

While these efforts may prove to be successful in cutting down the amount of illegal aliens in the U.S., many feel that it is an encroachment on privacy as well as racial profiling.

Stuart Jackson, a recent BYU graduate, will be moving to Phoenix for the Teach for America program. Jackson is weary about the position that Arizona has taken on immigration and the recently passed bill.

“I think that it gets in the way of people’s lives,” said Jackson. “I don’t think it needs to be so invasive. I can see how this plan works, but I don’t like that it’s at the expense of other people’s privacy. It’s not fair for those of foreign decent who are legally living here, but are still constantly asked to show their documents.”

The issue was taken to the Supreme Court in April after the Obama administration sued the state under terms that “Arizona exceeded its authority when it made a records check part of a state law aimed at driving illegal immigrants out of the state.”

The Supreme Court did not agree that the state was overstepping its boundaries and violating federal law, thus the issue is currently under review to determine if the law is constitutional, or if the Obama administration has grounds to sue.

A decision should be made this summer and, once made, will affect many states as they decide whether or not to take action and implement similar laws around the country.



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