After the Supreme Court ruled on the Arizona immigration law back in June, blocking the vast majority of the harsh provisions but leaving one standing, critics quickly rallied together to put forth a lawsuit to block the final contentious part still standing. The Arizona Judge has released its opinion, and unfortunately it is not what everyone wanted to hear.
The judge has ruled that police in Arizona can immediately start enforcing the “show me your papers” section of the immigration law, making it the first time that a state requires its law enforcement to perform their official duties while also inquiring the immigration status of those suspected to be here illegally. In their legal briefs, opponents of this measure urged the U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton to block the provision on the grounds that it would lead to “systematic racial profiling and unreasonably long detentions of Latinos if it’s enforced.”
Furthermore, there is also the added cost and difficulty in implementation that comes with federal immigration agents being tasked with verifying people’s immigration status and being responsible for picking up undocumented immigrants from local officers. Federal officials have already stated that they will contribute their efforts but only in those cases where they are going after repeat violators and those who have a criminal history that threatens public safety or national security.
This means that, if federal agents keep their word and stay within the confines of the “prosecutorial discretion” mandate by only going after those with a history who pose a security risk, the vast majority of individuals who are detained will have to be released by local officers since detaining them will be unlawful unless they are suspected of committing a crime that would require them to be taken to jail. The fact of the matter is that this provision will needlessly cause unequivocal hardship on immigrants living in the state of Arizona, with their being subjected to systematic racial profiling and unreasonably long detentions.
For this reason, we urge the state lawmakers to prevent this provision from being enforced or else risk an “all hell breaks loose” type of situation in their state.