Supreme Court Upholds Some Provisions but Largely Overturns Arizona SB1070

Richmond, Va. – On Monday, June 25th, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court largely struck down Arizona’s harsh anti-immigrant law, yet left one controversial provision intact. Of the four provisions that were at issue were Sections 2B, 3, 5C, and 6. Section 2B requires that during any arrest, traffic stop, or detention, if an officer has “reasonable suspicion” the the person may be undocumented, the officer must determine that person’s immigration status. The struck-down provisions included Section 3 (making it a crime under Arizona law to violate a Federal immigration law), Section 5C (making it a crime under Arizona law for an undocumented immigrant to work or seek work), and Section 6 (allowing for warrantless arrests if there is probable cause to believe the person has committed a crime that renders that person removable from the Country).

Largely, this was a decision that upheld Federal supremacy in immigration law and enforces the responsibility and obligation of the Federal Government to protect the borders of the United States as a whole, rather than allowing individual states to create a patchwork of immigration laws. The Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce urges the General Assembly not to pass more laws that harm Virginia’s business and labor climate, and instead calls for comprehensive immigration reform at the Federal Level.

“There are always going to be extremists calling for even more aggressive laws and enforcement in Virginia,” says Michel Zajur, President of the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “But, Virginia’s leaders have charted a more sensible approach over the past decade that protects Virginia’s global reputation as a great place to do business while addressing concerns about the impacts of the broken federal immigration system.”

While federal law already requires aliens in the United States for more than 30 days to register with the U.S. Government and have those papers in their possession at all times, the upheld provision of the law, Section 2B, could invite discriminatory profiling as officers, under Section 2B, are required to request papers of anyone they suspect may be in the country illegally. The Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is aware that of the existing Virginia law that all persons arrested must have their immigration status, and urges the General Assembly not to extend status checks to persons who are stopped for routine traffic and other stops. Creating a culture of discomfort and uncertainty for Hispanics in the Commonwealth would negatively impact the economy.

Article written by Demas Boudreaux, VAHCC Political Affairs.

About The Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

The VAHCC is a non-profit organization dedicated to cross-cultural commerce and economic development.

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