There appears to be much confusion regarding the ruling issued by the High Court. At issue were 4 distinct clauses that were only part of a 17-page bill. Sections 3, 5(C), and 6 were preempted by federal law by a majority of the justices.
A summary of the relevant clauses follows:
Section 3, Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-1509, reinforces the federal alien registration laws by providing that “[i]n addition to any violation of federal law, a person is guilty of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document if the person is in violation of 8 [U.S.C. §§] 1304(e) or 1306(a).” § 3(A). Subsection 3(H) imposes the same maximum penalties for violations of subsection (A) that Congress has imposed for violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1304(e), which in turn are less than the penalties for violations of § 1306(a). The only substantive difference between Section 3 and the federal statutes is that Section 3 has no application at all to persons authorized to be in the United States. § 3(F)
This section would make it a crime under Arizona law for an immigrant to fail to carry their alien registration documents. But this is already a requirement under US Code Section 8 US immigration:
Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. Any alien who failsto comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall upon conviction for each offense be fined not to exceed $100 or be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.
Section 5(C) of S.B. 1070, Ariz Rev. Stat. § 13-2928(C), reinforces the federal prohibitions on unauthorized employment directed to the demand side of employers by addressing the supply side of would-be employees. That provision makes it a misdemeanor under Arizona law for “a person who is unlawfully present in the United States and who is an unauthorized alien to knowingly apply for work, solicit work in a public place or perform work as an employee or independent contractor in this state.”
Basically, this section makes it a crime to for unauthorized persons to seek employment.
Section 6, Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3883(A)(5), adds to Arizona peace officers’ warrantless arrest authority by authorizing such arrests when “the officer has probable cause to believe . . . [t]he person to be arrested has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States.”
We have Federal Laws that address these issues and Federal law will prevail in lieu of these 3 clauses. The problem is that we have a President who refuses to enforce the Federal laws currently in place, which is why the state of Arizona took matters into their own hands.
Seems to me that the big winner in today’s ruling is Arizona. Section 2(B), commonly called the “show me your papers” clause, was upheld. This allows Arizona law enforcement to verify immigration status coincidental to a vehicular stop (traffic stop/accident) if there is suspicion that the person or persons are in the country illegally. While the reason for the stop cannot be to examine immigration paperwork, the court ruled that any suspicious activity could result in the request to view the immigration documents.
What is now most disconcerting is the reaction of the Federal government to the decision. ICE has been instructed to suspend the program known as 287(g), which was a joint effort between Federal and Local governments and allowed local authorities to make immigration-related arrests. Now, only the Feds can make any arrests. Our impertinent Manchild has selectively chosen where and when the program will be supported. We must all remember this when we go to the polls on 11/6/12.