Supreme Court Encourages Illegal Immigration

Supreme Court building SC Supreme Court Encourages Illegal Immigration

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled against key parts of an Arizona law intended to deter illegal immigration in the state. As you can imagine, this ruling has wide-ranging effects for the ability of all states to fight against the tidal wave of illegal immigration locally.

The Supreme Court’s ruling means more illegal immigration tomorrow. For those trying to decide whether or not to enter our country illegally, the risks and costs have just gone down, and the potential benefits have just increased. It would be more intellectually coherent for Congress to repeal our current immigration laws and just welcome all who would like to come without numerical limitation. The current policy of maintaining numerical limits on the books, but not enforcing those limits (and now prohibiting most state enforcement of those limits) simply makes no sense.

This policy is a slap in the face for the millions of qualified immigrants now waiting outside the U.S. for their chance to immigrate legally. They look like fools, and their children will age out and not be allowed to immigrate with them if they ever get visas.

The court gave broad support to the Obama administration’s policy of prosecutorial discretion, or limited enforcement of U.S. immigration law. The court cited with approval the administration’s 2011 memo announcing a policy of prosecutorial discretion in immigration enforcement, basically limited to criminals and national security threats. The court noted, “a primary feature of the removal system is the broad discretion exercised by immigration officials.” Prosecutorial discretion is what underlies the recent administration decision to give work authorization for illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. before age 16.

Most of Arizona’s efforts to deal with illegal immigration were struck down. Studies estimate that the unauthorized portion of Arizona’s population currently sits somewhere between 6 percent and 9 percent. One study cited by the court found that the 8.9 percent unauthorized portion of Arizona’s population was responsible for 21.8 percent of Arizona’s felony crimes. The message to other states: No matter how bad it gets for you, you won’t be allowed to do what Arizona tried.

The court preserved a narrow window for state action to restrict illegal immigration. As determined last year in Whiting v. Chamber of Commerce, states can use licensing power to revoke the business licenses of employers who hire illegal immigrants without checking work authorization using the automated E-Verify procedure. This licensing power is also what the city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania has tried to use in its anti-illegal immigration ordinances.

Secondly, the court permitted to stand the portion of the Arizona statute requiring a determination of immigration status anytime a police officer makes a legal stop and has a reasonable suspicion that the stopped individual may be illegal. That provision also specified that anyone actually arrested should have an immigration status determination before release. The high court approved that provision only on condition that it not result in practice in prolonged detention. The racial profiling argument is a loser; if the government had made an attempt to argue this, it could have be used to strike federal immigration law provisions as well.

This procedure for a mandatory immigration status check upon reasonable suspicion after a legal stop is already standard operating procedure in many jurisdictions throughout the United States. Arizona put it in SB1070 because certain Arizona “sanctuary city” jurisdictions were instructing their police not to do status checks despite reasonable suspicion.

Chief Justice Roberts’s position in support of the majority opinion was surprising and curious. Justice Kennedy maintained his usual position as the key swing vote assigned to write the majority opinion, but if the Chief Justice had decided to vote along with his fellow Republican appointees, it would not have made a much of a difference. A 4-4 split, because Justice Kagen recused herself, would have left the lower court opinion in effect, striking all four of the challenged portions of SB1070.

Chief justices feel responsible for the image of the court as a whole and hate to have the court viewed as ineffective and its opinions without meaning. I suspect the Chief Justice offered to vote with the majority, creating a decisive 5-3 majority vote, provided the majority agreed to sustain at least one of the contested provisions of SB1070 requiring an immigration status check after a legal stop if the police officer has a reasonable suspicion that the individual is without legal status. And, of course, that is what the majority proceeded to do.

Jan Ting is a Professor of Law at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law and a former Assistant Commissioner for Refugees, Asylum and Parole, Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S. Department of Justice. Jan can be reached at

Photo Credit: laura padgett (Creative Commons)

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  1. Seeks_the_truth says:

    All the Stupid Court did was say any illegal that is under the age of 30 hurry and get across the border. Your free ride is waiting.

    • Edwardkoziol says:

      Your right it was a stupid court they are no better then the 9th circus court of appeals.Roberts caved a pox on him and his family.If you know a good Shaman get in touch with him to get te spell going.

      • Seeks_the_truth says:

        We've been doing the voodoo we do so well for some time now lol.
        Maybe all the prayers are finally working! =D

        • Edwardkoziol says:

          Got to tell you a true story.When we were driving back from Vegas we stopped in a rest area in NM and this indian(native american) was handing out fliers about some pow wow going on and that we should go but we couldn't but we got to talking and he was telling us that on some reservations they still didn't have running water or electricty this was in 2004,hard to believe.I told him that I felt sorry for the way they got screwed out of their land and if it was up to me they could have it back.The southwest is nice but I prefer green fields and forests not sand and rocks.It also made me and my wife start to send money to this organization that helps our real American indians.In conclusion the government will help and feel sorry for lawbreaking illegals and not the indians.Thank God for casinoes

          • Seeks_the_truth says:

            I know all about it. Another thing most don't know is let one of the 50 year old windows break. Good luck replacing it.
            Casinos help, but not as much as you think. Once the profit is split between ALL reservations, it comes out to like $1,000 per person/year. Not much eh?
            Thanks for helping when you can. It's appreciated more than you will ever know.
            And Pow Wows happen every year around the country. Go enjoy one sometime!

  2. I am disappointed in the Supreme Court Ruling on Arizona's immigation law. The ruling made everything worse. I hope they don't chop up OBAMACARE instead of getting rid of the whole thing.

  3. ANTICRIME says:

    BOTTOM LINE: The Supreme Court, once very much respected, has lost their CREDIBILITY in making JUST and SENSIBLE rulings! ~ We are now at a point in time when STATES will have to STAND ON THEIR OWN and make proper decisions, based on our U.S. Constitution, thus IGNORING distorted federal rulings, mandates and laws that are a DETRIMENT to the well being, security and liberty of the states and their citizens residing within!
    ~ It is SERIOUS time for states to dust off the U.S. Declaration of Independence and consider employing and presenting ARTICLES OF SECESSION to our thoroughly Commie-"Progressive" corrupted and overtaken federal government that has now proven itself to being a THREAT to our nation's SECURITY, FREEDOMS and LIBERTY, far from its original intended duty as per our de jure U.S. Constitution!

    • ANTICRIME says:

      ~ NO ELECTION will reverse the tyranny that is clearly raising its ugly, threatening head….ONLY SECESSION will thoroughly "clean house" of evil infiltrators whereby an entirely NEW federal government can then be reestablished as our U.S. Constitution remains its foundation…less Commie "Progressives"!!!
      ~ The POWER is relegated to the states, by WE THE PEOPLE, and should they fail us, the Second Amendment has been provided us by our founders and almighty God as a LAST RESORT AGAINST TYRANNY!!!!!

  4. Georgia Frankton says:

    Prevent Possible Voting Fraud – By using USA Social Security system (mainframe system) where all USA citizens are already enrolled – then have an information technology specialist write a program that would separate/total states and polling needs, reports, etc. – just as a corporate entity with subsidiary utilizes (such as Constellation Energy (formally BGE) in Baltimore Maryland/Payroll unit) uses for their numerous subsidiary needs) – and by incorporating e-verify to ensure USA citizens ( separate USA from non)

  5. JacktheFAC says:

    Since it has been ruled that states do not have the right to enforce federal border laws, does it also mean that states do not have the right to enforce other federal laws like bank robbery (which is a federal law), or counterfeiting (another federal law) or kidnapping (another federal law) or drug smuggling, etc. etc? Perhaps states are only supposed to enforce jay walking, speeing laws (only state ones) and parking tickets.

  6. preacher42 says:

    Every judge that voted to take away State's rights, needs to be brought up on impeachment. They have no authority to take that away from the states. The federal agencies are not doing the job, so it falls on the States to do the job. IMPEACH every one of them along with the rest of the administration, all the way to the person in our White House, illegally.

  7. Marine223 says:

    We have been invaded by FAT Slugs like Sodomy-myer and Keg-on, neither of which ever met a meal they couldn't eat in one sitting! The Communist have taken over our Nation from within! O'Scamo will be defeated, BUT, he has spun his wrecking ball so wide, it'll take ten years to recover! We also need to remove the 80 Communist in CON-gress!Wake up people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Edwardkoziol says:

    The Supreme Court like everybody is scared of Obunghole.When Obunghole scolded Roberts and told him he'd better not go agianst what I ruled Roberts listened.After shitting his pants he went liberal and now President Asshole has put the police on trial.

  9. We need to change the law that states that those appointed to the Supreme Court are there for life.
    – They need a time limit JUST like all other branches of government.

    This simply shows that the Supreme Court is for illegals taking over the USA.

  10. RacerJim says:

    The SCOTUS ruling didn’t satisfy CASA de Maryland or Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM).

    Conservative Supreme Court Says Yes to Racial Profiling
    Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 June 2012 00:58 Monday, 25 June 2012 23:53
    Latinos, Immigrant Communities Prepared to Voice Objections at Ballot Box.

    (Langley Park, MD)—The Supreme Court today showed its conservative side by saying yes to racial profiling as it upheld Arizona’s vehemently anti-immigrant “show me your papers” law. Federal immigration reform is the only solution to this tragic and divisive court decision and the path forward is to make our voices heard everywhere, especially at the ballot box.

    “Today’s decision of the Supreme Court sets back the advance of civil rights and will result in increased harassment and persecution,” said Gustavo Torres, Executive Director of CASA de Maryland. “We have already seen the damage to our community on the ground in Maryland through the discredited Secure Communities program which has resulted in widespread fear of the police in immigrant communities and this Saturday afternoon, in solidarity and defense of immigrant families from Arizona to Maryland, we will rally and march from Montgomery to Prince George’s County condemning racial profiling in Arizona and racial profiling in Maryland.”

    CASA de Maryland, along with other advocates for comprehensive immigration reform in the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), will unite in an unprecedented effort to register Latinos to vote to make sure that candidates who champion racial profiling laws are defeated in 2012.

    During the upcoming election season, CASA has planned an aggressive voter registration program that would enroll more than 20,000 new Latino voters across Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties and mobilize tens of thousands more to the polls.

    “Although the Supreme Court’s decision upheld the ‘show me your papers’ provision, we will not stop fighting to protect our basic civil rights,” said Maria Bolaños, a CASA member and victim of the Prince George’s County Secure Communities program. “We will build more power to demand respect and equal treatment under the law.”

    FIRM is a network of community-based immigrant advocacy organizations in 30 states. CASA’s rally this Saturday is thought to bring hundreds out and will start at 1:00pm at the corner of Piney Branch and Greenwood Avenues in Silver Spring.

  11. Oboma is an illegal president and an illegal immigrant. These illegals and criminals are his 'dear friends'. He will never give them up – he's 'one of them'.

  12. HORATIUS says:

    ANTICRIME has it right
    we need to clean the whole ratsnest from Federal to local goverments.

  13. capa1960 says:

    Right now there are 20 GOP Senators that are not going to vote the way the American People want them to vote. These 20 Republicans are in favor of paying taxes to the United Nations and voting in favor of the
    LOST Treaty of the seas. Lamar ALEXANDER, Kelly AYOTTE, Scott BROWN, Thad COCHRAN, Susan COLLINS, Bob CORKER, Michael ENZI, Lindsey GRAHAM,Charles GRASSLEY, Kay B. HUTCHISON, Johnny ISAKSON, Mike JOHANNS, Mark KEICK, Richard LUGAR,John McCAIN, Mitch McCONNELL, Lisa
    MURKOWSKI, Rob PORTMAN, Olympia SNOWE, and Patrick TOOMEY. We are being sold out.

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