MILWAUKEE — The U.S. Supreme Court Monday, June 25th decided to reject key parts of Arizona’s immigration law, but one part it left intact is causing controversy. The court upheld a provision saying police must check the status of people stopped for various reasons, who might appear to be in the country illegally.
Immigration rights groups expressed disappointment with the decision.
The National Immigration Law Center said the provision will lead to racial profiling and prolonged detentions.
This issue is expected to come up more during the presidential campaign.
The Obama administration said they are happy with the ruling, but remain concerned with the provision requiring local law enforcement officials to check the immigration status.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney commented by criticizing the Obama administration for failing to enact a clear immigration policy.
Milwaukee-area officials also reacted after Monday’s ruling.
Wisconsin state Representative Don Pridemore (R – Hartford) had introduced a much smaller bill that was somewhat similar to Arizona’s SB 1070. He said this bill, IB 173, was only focused on illegal immigrants who committed crimes.
Pridemore said the Supreme Court’s decision has him wondering if states, like Wisconsin or Arizona have any rights.
“To me it doesn’t solve any problems. It really calls into question state sovereignty as well and whether or not that’s going to continue with the Supreme Court. It makes you wonder what can the states do when the federal government refuses to enforce their own laws,” Pridemore said.
The Supreme Court’s ruling has Voces de la Frontera, a Milwaukee-area Latino-advocacy group worried that it doesn’t protect individuals’ rights.
“Obviously we are very pleased that the Supreme Court ruled that the state, SB 1070, went too far in saying they could create their own rules around immigration law. But it is a serious and disturbing attack on the fundamental rights of people to have their civil rights protected in that it does essentially say that the police can stop someone based on the reasonable suspicion that they look like they could be undocumented,” Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera said.