The state of Arizona wants the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the appeal by the federal government of a law that would allow them to practice their own enforcement regarding immigrants.
Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld Arizona’s requirement that voters show identification at the polls, but disallowed the requirement to show proof of U.S. citizenship in order to register to vote in federal elections.
Known as SB 1070, the law, if overturned by the court, would allow Arizona’s law enforcement officials to arrest and detain individuals who might be undocumented immigrants without any federal oversight or regard for federal priorities. Under the law, failure to comply with registration requirements would result in an inability to vote in elections.
The Arizona fight is resonating across America, all the way to the Empire State. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman stated in an amicus brief filed in the Arizona v. United States case that the law is unconstitutional because it undermines federal law and threatens civil rights.
“The Arizona law improperly displaces and supplants federal authority over the removal of undocumented immigrants, a subject that the Constitution leaves to Congress and that Congress delegated to the discretion and exclusive oversight of federal executive officials,” said Schneiderman in a brief. “This measure obstructs and impedes federal efforts to establish national priorities for the removal of undocumented immigrants.
“Overzealous and indiscriminate attempts to identify and remove undocumented immigrants also pose many risks for civil rights violations–risks that spill over to legal residents. Enforcement measures targeted at ‘removable’ immigrants–such as documentation checks or other investigatory measures–therefore threaten to sweep in many legal immigrants and U.S. citizens who simply share the same race, ethnicity or cultural markers as undocumented immigrants common to a particular area,” he continued.
New York and California have some of the largest populations of documented and undocumented immigrants in the country and are part of a group of 11 states (including Hawaii, Massachusetts and Maryland) that oppose the Arizona law.