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Supreme Court to hear challenge to Arizona immigration law

A legal challenge to Arizona’s controversial immigration enforcement law, known as S.B. 1070, will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The New York Times reports today that “the Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide whether Arizona may impose tough anti-immigration measures. Among them, in a law enacted last year, is a requirement that the police there question people they stop about their immigration status.”

ABC News reports ”the case will be argued sometime this spring,” adding that, “although deeply opposed to the law, the Obama administration had asked the Supreme Court to refrain from taking up the case at this juncture.”

Kris Kobach, current Kansas secretary of state and the coauthor of S.B. 1070 and other immigration enforcement-only efforts, wrote in May 2010: “[S.B. 1070] makes it a state crime for an alien to commit certain federal immigration violations while in Arizona.”

S.B. 1070 was passed by the Arizona Legislature in the first months of 2010, and was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer in April; the measure was immediately challenged by the Obama administration.

The Times adds that the Obama administration “challenged four provisions” of S.B. 1070: “The most prominent was a requirement that state law enforcement officials determine the immigration status of anyone they stop or arrest if officials have reason to believe that the individual might be an illegal immigrant.”

According to ABC News, “similar legislation is pending in Utah, South Carolina, Indiana, Georgia and Alabama.”

The Supreme Court of the United States Blog writes today: “The Arizona measure, and one in Alabama that goes even further, were passed by state legislatures with the specific intent of making life so difficult for undocumented aliens that they would choose to leave the state. Other states are also passing similar measures.”

“Arizona’s infamous anti-immigrant law, SB 1070,” and other similar state laws, according to the Immigration Policy Center, ”impose unfunded mandates on the police, jails, and courts; drive away workers, taxpayers, and consumers upon whom the state economy depends; and invite costly lawsuits and tourist boycotts. These are economic consequences which few states can afford at a time of gaping budget deficits.”

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