Arizona Immigration Law Partially Struck by High Court
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Copyright 2012 Bloomberg.
By Greg Stohr
The U.S. Supreme Court said the core of Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigrants can take effect for now, while invalidating other parts of the first-of-its-kind law.
The justices, voting 5-3, struck down criminal restrictions that would have barred illegal aliens from seeking work or being in Arizona without proper documentation. The court said the final answer on the centerpiece of the law -- a requirement that local police officers check the immigration status of people they suspect might be in the country illegally -- will depend on how the provision is enforced.
Backers said the law was needed to address the presence of an estimated 11.5 million illegal aliens in the country. The decision will affect similar laws in other states and may have repercussions for the November presidential election as President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney vie for Hispanic votes.
The case bore similarities to the fight over Obama’s health-care law, with the administration clashing with Republican-controlled states. As with health care, the argument pitted U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli against former Solicitor General Paul Clement, arguing for the states.
The justices will rule in the health-care case later in the week.