If you’ve been reading the headlines, it looks like both “sides” won – or maybe both sides lost. Nobody seems to be sure if they won or lost and the headlines are confusing and fear still runs rampant. Because the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Arizona case will trickle down and affect the laws of all 50 states, including Ohio, we’ll nutshell the ruling for you.
Federal Law is Top Dog
- The federal government has the authority to set immigration policy and create immigration laws and the states cannot pass laws that conflict with federal law. You may see this fact referred to as “preemption”.
Justice Anthony Kennedy explains:
“The national government has significant power to regulate immigration. Arizona may have understandable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration while that process continues, but the state may not pursue policies that undermined federal law.”
Immigration Violation is a Secondary Offense and “Reasonable Suspicion” is Required
- Arizona police may check an individual’s immigration status so long as he or she does so while enforcing another law and only if he or she has “reasonable suspicion” that the individual is in the U.S. illegally.
Arizona’s “Show me your papers” provision is continuing to stir concerns of both racial profiling and enforcement inconsistencies. (Even the police have voiced their concerns.) However, checking immigration status under these conditions has been ruled Constitutional and will stand.
3 Arizona Law Provisions Shot Down
In addition, three provisions of Arizona’s immigration law were struck down by the high Court. This means that
- Police CANNOT arrest illegal immigrants without warrant even if “probable cause” exists that they committed any public offense making them removable from the country.
- It is NOT a state crime for “unauthorized immigrants” to fail to carry registration papers and other government identification.
- Arizona CANNOT forbid those not authorized for employment in the United States to apply, solicit or perform work.
Other States Struggle with Immigration Laws
Controversial laws attempting to stifle illegal immigration are still on the books in many states such as South Carolina, Georgia, Utah, Alabama, and our next-door neighbor, Indiana. Our Ohio immigration attorneys follow the laws and court rulings of these states as well as federal legislation and court rulings.
Where to Get Legal Help with Immigration Issues
If you have questions about the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Arizona immigration law case or another immigration issue, please feel free to consult with our qualified immigration attorneys. We feel strongly about bringing families together and helping people come to the U.S. to work, study, and visit and contribute to the economy and society.
You can reach our qualified Ohio immigration attorneys at 513-793-6555 or Thomasjr@geygan.com. Your next step is to call now.