Supreme Court guts Arizona Immigration Law as preempted by Federal Law


Washington, DC – Today the Supreme Court gutted the Arizona immigration law, declaring that that Sections 3, 5(C), and 6 were preempted by federal law.

Section 3 imposed a misdemeanor for “willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document.” This was struck down because it interferes with federal law regarding alien registration.

Section 5(C) imposed a misdemeanor for an illegal immigrant to “knowingly apply for work, solicit work in a public place or perform work as an employee or independent contractor.” This too was struck down because it conflicts with federal enforcement in which Congress chose to regulate employers, rather than employees.

Section 6 provided that a state officer may arrest a person if the officer has probable cause to believe the person has committed any public offense with makes him removable from the United States. This was also struck down as preempted by federal law because removability is the duty of the federal government.

The Court did reverse the injunction entered by the federal court regarding the mandatory checks of immigration status during routine stops if the state or local police suspect the person might be in the state illegally. However, the Court did not uphold this provision. Instead, the Court ruled it was premature for the federal court to enjoin that provision without the state courts first having the opportunity to construe the provision. This provision will undergo further litigation.

“Arizona took action on immigration because the federal government failed to,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “I agree that the federal government has jurisdiction over immigration. Without a uniform rule for immigration, America may have 50 different, chaotic standards,” he said. “However, our politicians in Washington, D.C., must get beyond campaign rhetoric to a rational immigration policy that acknowledges that we are both a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws,” Staver concluded.