Oral arguments inside the Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality of Arizona's anti-illegal immigration legislation SB 1070 are over. Justice Elena Kagan recused herself from the case and the remaining justices during the session seem to be leaning toward Arizona according to the Wall Street Journal:
In this morning's argument, Supreme Court justices seemed inclined to allow at least one provision of Arizona’s tough anti-immigration law.
From the tenor of the oral argument, it’s possible a ruling in the case may not fall strictly along ideological lines. Some of the court’s liberal justices, though expressing concerns about the Arizona law, wondered whether the state could be prohibited from checking the immigration status of individuals within its borders.
The court will issue a ruling on this matter in June, meanwhile, SB 1070 has already had a positive effect on the illegal population in Arizona according to the author of the legislation, former State Senator Russell Pearce.
The parts of the law that went into effect 90 days after the legislation was passed and signed into law have been “good” for Arizona, according to Pearce.
Pearce said that statistics from the Department of Homeland Security and other groups show that between 100,000 and 200,000 illegal aliens have voluntarily left the state since most of it went into effect in 2010.
“We have a violent crime rate drop by three times that of the national average,” Pearce said. “My school district – Mesa – the largest school in the state, can close 13 elementary schools because of the declining population in K-12, out of neighborhoods known for high concentrations of illegals.”
“Our prison population’s on the decline for the first time in the history of the state of Arizona,” Pearce said, adding that there are about 2,500 fewer inmates in Arizona prisons today than there were before the law went into effect.
“That means less crime, less victims, that means a little more respect for law,” Pearce said. “So the good things are pretty clear.”