Monday’s Supreme Court ruling that threw out key provisions of a controversial Arizona immigration law might have left more confusion than clarification, as states with similar laws — including Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah – decide their next move.
Both sides of the immigration issue are claiming victory, which is as sure a sign as any that no one really won the day. At best, the Supreme Court punted on this one.
In a 5-3 ruling, justices let stand a provision in Arizona’s immigration enforcement law that requires police to determine the immigration status of suspects when practicable and when they have a “reasonable suspicion” the person is in the country illegally. But the court invalidated provisions that would permit police to make warrantless arrests when people commit deportable offenses; punish people who fail to carry official immigration papers; and punish illegal immigrants who apply for work in Arizona.