Publicado el 04-23-2012
Arizona’s SB 1070
Before the Supreme Court
This Wednesday, April 25th, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on Arizona’s law SB1070 that, among other things, allowed local police to detain undocumented immigrants or people who might look like them. That law, passed two years ago, inspired similar measures in Georgia, Alabama, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah.
The Obama administration contends that “Arizona has adopted its own immigration policy, which focuses solely on maximum enforcement and pays no heed to the multifaceted judgments” that immigration law provides the executive branch should make.
Already federal courts have suspended parts of the mentioned law and, in other cases, have temporarily blocked other states’ laws, including that in Georgia. Arizona, upon passing the controversial law, indicated that the state had to take action because the federal government was doing nothing to prevent illegal immigration.
The decision from the Supreme Court could alter the existing boundaries between the federal government and the states when it comes to immigration enforcement, something that has always been considered an exclusive federal matter. The question is if the Supreme Court will allow the states to take immigration action establishing their own laws or if it will rule in favor of the Obama administration.
This situation could have been avoided if President Obama had fulfilled the promise he made during his 2008 campaign to undertake a comprehensive immigration reform. Everyone knows that the issue is a difficult one, but in the last three years there has not even been an attempt on the part of the government to do something positive to clarify the status of twelve million undocumented aliens living in the country and set up some program to allow legal entry to the agricultural workers that are indispensable in many states. It is a fact that the only ones willing to do the hard manual work in the fields are immigrants. Without them it would be very difficult to get the products that they harvest. In spite of the unemployment rate, it is almost impossible to find local workers willing to harvest the crops manually.
We will have to wait weeks, or perhaps a few months, to have a ruling from the Supreme Court.