Arizona's SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration bill heads to the Supreme Court today for arguments. The legislation has been dubbed one of the nation's "most controversial" and most "anti-immigrant" laws in the country, but the truth is, the legislation really isn't controversial at all. SB 1070 simply allows local law enforcement, the same officers who deal with the criminal consequences of illegal immigration everyday, to ask people regardless of skin color, for proof of citizenship after a crime has been committed (for more information about what's really happening on the border and what our local law enforcement officers are up against, click here.) Predictably, as soon as SB 1070 passed and was signed into law by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, we saw emotional responses, dangerous behavior and accusations of racism from the Left and radical open border groups like Derechos Humanos and La Raza. We saw similar responses from President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who all made uneducated statements about the legislation before they even read the bill. Also, shortly after its signing, a federal judge slapped down the bill's most crucial language and Eric Holder filed a lawsuit against the state known as United States v Arizona.
The administration's responses:
The administration says the law, and Arizona's approach of maximum enforcement, conflict with a more nuanced federal immigration policy that seeks to balance national security, law enforcement, foreign policy, human rights and the rights of law-abiding citizens and immigrants.
The president said, “you can try to make it really tough on people who look like they, quote, unquote look like illegal immigrants. One of the things that the law says is that local officials are allow to ask somebody who they have a suspicion might be an illegal immigrant for their papers — but you can imagine if you are a Hispanic American in Arizona, your great, great grandparents may have been there before Arizona was even a state. But now suddenly if you don’t have your papers and you took your kid out to get ice cream, you’re going to be harassed, that’s something that could potentially happen.”
But what does Arizona think?
Not to mention, the majority of Americans support the legislation and want the Supreme Court to uphold the law according to a new Quinnipiac poll.
A 68 percent majority said they supported the law, against only 27 percent who opposed it. Asked whether the Supreme Court should strike it down, 62 percent said no, and only 27 percent said yes.
So is there any precedent for this kind of legislation? Not exactly, but based on the fact that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Arizona on a law that allows the state to require employers to verify citizenship of job applicants, the court has shown it is not opposed to giving the states some form of control over immigration policy. Governor Jan Brewer is in Washington today and will be in the court room for arguments. Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever will also be in the room. If the Supreme Court does decide to uphold SB 1070, ruling coming in June, other states that have passed similar legislation to control their illegal immigration crisis, will surely ask that their lawsuits from the Justice Department be dropped.
|Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is also the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up.
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Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography