Legal experts weigh in on SB 1070 rulingPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- The United States Supreme Court Monday handed down its ruling on Arizona’s SB-1070.
The nation’s high court struck down much of the bill, but kept the most controversial portion in place, for now.
In its simplest terms the ruling means police may still inquire into citizenship, but they cannot arrest or detain someone based on their immigrant status. It is no longer a state crime if an immigrant is not registered with the state. Undocumented immigrants can seek employment in the state of Arizona. Finally, law enforcement officials can no longer do immigration sweeps, if the only illegal activity is an undocumented alien being present in the state.
“Those law enforcement officials who have been arresting or detaining people because they think they are here illegally have to stop doing that. It is not and cannot be a state crime to be in the country illegally,” said constitutional law expert Paul Bender, who teaches constitutional law courses at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU.
Absent from the 5-3 opinion, authored by Justice Kennedy, was Justice Kagan, who took no part in the decision because of her connections to the Department of Justice.