Yes, the Court threw out three provisions of SB 1070, including the one that made it a misdemeanor for an illegal alien to seek work in Arizona. It also struck a provision allowing police to arrest suspected illegals without a warrant, and another requiring all illegals to obtain or carry registration papers. Yet as Justice Anthony Kennedy noted in his majority opinion, it is already a federal requirement that aliens carry proof of registration.
But look at what remains: the Obama administration failed to even challenge the part of the law that makes it a crime to stop a motor vehicle to pick up day laborers, and it lost on the district-court level on its challenge to the part of the law that allows the impoundment of vehicles used in transporting illegal aliens.
And in a clear rebuke of Obama and Attorney General Holder, all eight justices (with the exception of Elena Kagan, who recused herself) upheld the “show me your papers” provision of Arizona’s law: its requirement that police should determine the immigration status of those they stop, detain or arrest if “reasonable suspicion” exists that they are in the country illegally.
So what does the decision imply for Georgia’s HB 87, which was signed into law last year and, no surprise, is being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union. That case had been on hold as the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals awaited the outcome of the Arizona case. And Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens contends the state has reason for optimism that its law will be upheld.
The ruling “reaffirms that states have a role to play in partnership with the federal government on immigration issues, and we look forward to the 11th Circuit carefully reviewing today’s Supreme Court decision and ruling on those two sections on HB 87,” Olens said. “I frankly continue to be optimistic and I believe the 11th Circuit will do a very nice job for our state.”
And he and others, including state Rep. Rick Golick (R-Smyrna), indicated that the most significant part of HB 87 is its provision that private businesses — not just the state and local governments — use the federal E-Verify system to confirm the residency status of employees.
Keep in mind as well that last year the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Arizona’s requirement that employers there use the E-Verify system, and affirmed that state’s authority to pull the business license of any employer who knowingly hires illegal aliens.
There’s no question that the mandatory use of the E-Verify system is a key tool in the effort to reduce the flood of illegals into our country — and that the Obama administration would like few things better than to pull the plug on E-Verify.
At a time when the national unemployment rate is an unacceptable 8.2 percent, the Obama team is pulling out all the stops to weaken our borders and let even more “undocumented” people come here to work for below-minimum wages and compete for scarce U.S. jobs. Obama’s fierce opposition to the Arizona law, like his decree last week that illegals who came here as teens or children years and years ago can stay and work without fear of deportation, are further evidence of his willingness to pander for the votes of Hispanics. They also serve as a reminder that jobs for illegals are more important to this self-centered president than jobs for citizens.