We have discussed Arizona’s controversial new anti-immigration measures several times on Slaw (e.g., here, here and here). Besides appearing to discriminate against various groups, the measures conflict with federal immigration laws and policies. Well, the saga is not yet over. On December 12, 2011, the New York Times announced that the United States Supreme Court agreed to decide whether Arizona may impose such tough anti-immigration measures. The measures include:
- Requiring police officers to determine the immigration status of people they stop for a violation of any law if the officers think the persons are in the country illegally
- Requiring people to carry their identification papers at all times in public places
- Making a crime of failure to apply for valid immigration papers
- Requiring everyone who is arrested to have their immigration status checked with the federal government before release
- Allowing police officers to arrest anyone they believe has committed a crime that would make them removable from the country
- Making it a crime for illegal immigrants to apply for or perform any work
The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco previously stopped the above provisions from coming into force.
Paul D. Clement, representing Arizona, urged the Court to hear the case, Arizona v. United States, No. 11-182, by stating:
The law did not conflict with but, rather, complemented federal policies. The Ninth Circuit’s decision had completely foreclosed Arizona’s effort to address the disproportionate impact of unlawful immigration in a state with a 370-mile border with Mexico.
We shall see whether the Supreme Court agrees with Mr. Clement.