Arizona’s guano-crazy governor Jan Brewer is trying to claim victory in the Supreme Court’s ruling on Arizona’s immigration law. Some of the mainstream media is reporting a false equivalency that both sides won a little. Once enough people have read it, Brewer will be taken as seriously as a woman surrounded by trash bags talking to herself on the metro.
The Supreme Court gutted the main aspects of the law. As Eugene Robinson has analyzed at The Washington Post, the SCOTUS struck down the aspects that allowed the police to stop anyone suspected of being undocumented (i.e. brown people) and demand to see their papers. It struck down the aspect that would criminalize an undocumented migrant searching for work, and maintained the onus on employers to verify documentation. It criticized the attempt at legalized harassment of a group of people. It upheld the principle that the federal government will issue a single immigration policy applicable to the entire nation. The ruling vindicates and validates the Obama administration’s suits against Arizona.
The only major part it upheld was a provision that if police have detained someone on a legitimate charge (not just for being a foreigner) and have just cause to question their immigration status, they can investigate. But they can’t go around arresting Mexicans willy-nilly to find out if they should be here. The Court also promises to entertain any further constitutional challenges to even this narrow clause, as Robinson explains.
Justice Kennedy also reminds the far right that
“As a general rule, it is not a crime for a removable alien to remain present in the United States.”
The Court undermines all the hype, spin, and frankly, propaganda that surrounds “illegal” immigrants on the right The fact remains that a person cannot be illegal. Regardless of what Jan Brewer says.