U.S. Supreme Court rejects appeal of Alabama anti-immigrant law

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

The ALEC model legislation for the anti-immigrant crusade of Kris Kobach, legal counsel with the Immigration Law Reform Institute, the legal arm of the anti-immigrant Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and the author of Arizona's SB 1070, is losing in court. Federal courts have made it clear that federal law preempts the field in immigration law. Only federal gov't, not states, can enforce immigration laws, Supreme Court says:

The Supreme Court made it clear Monday that enforcing immigration laws is reserved for the federal government, not the states.

By
an 8-1 vote, the justices rejected a request from Alabama to revive
part of a 2011 law designed to drive out illegal immigrants
. That year
saw a wave of new laws in Republican-controlled states where lawmakers
decried perceived federal inaction. Alabama's was deemed the toughest.

State officials said if federal authorities were not going to arrest illegal immigrants, their police would take on the task.

But
the Obama administration went to court to challenge these laws, arguing
that federal immigration policy trumped state efforts. The
administration said it was targeting criminals, gang members and
smugglers, not the millions of otherwise law-abiding but undocumented
immigrants who live and work in this country.

The administration
won a major victory last year when the Supreme Court struck down most of
Arizona's immigration enforcement law, known as SB 1070.
In a 6-3
decision, the justices agreed that Washington, not the states, gets to
decide how to enforce the immigration laws. The opinion rejected the
idea that states could make immigration violations a crime under state
law.

The high court upheld one provision that allows police to
question people about their immigration status if they are stopped for
some other lawful reason. [On the issue of ripeness for decision. That portion of SB 1070 is now being litigated in Arizona courts, and is someday headed back to the U.S. Supreme Court, where the court plainly indicated in its opinion that this provision of SB 1070 will also not survive constitutional scrutiny.]

That ruling prompted the U.S. appeals
court in Atlanta to block much of Alabama's law, including a provision
that made it a state crime to hide, harbor or transport illegal
immigrants.

Alabama's attorney general, Luther Strange, appealed
to the high court in February, urging justices to revive this provision.
He argued that last year's decision in the Arizona case was narrowly
confined to specific provisions of that state's law.

Disagreeing,
U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said the court had broadly
rejected the idea that states had a separate role in enforcing the laws
against illegal immigration.

After considering the appeal in
Alabama vs. United States for several weeks, the justices dismissed it
on Monday. Justice Antonin Scalia dissented but did not write an
opinion.

Similar "local ordinance" measures were drafted by Kris Kobach for South Carolina, Utah and Georgia. Those measures are also in court.

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