A Good Day for Obama as Supreme Court Adds to Romney’s Immigration Nightmare

The Supreme Court has declared three of the four parts of the Arizona immigration law unconstitutional, but the court upheld the provision that police officers can determine the immigration status of anyone lawfully stopped.

The Supreme Court threw out most of the law, but they upheld the most controversial part. However, overall the court upheld the federal power to make immigration policy, “The federal power to determine immigration policy is well settled. Immigration policy can affect trade, investment, tourism, and diplomatic relations for the entire Nation, as well as the perceptions and expectations of aliens in this country who seek the full protection of its laws.”

The court destroyed the Republican argument that states have the right to make their own separate immigration policies, “The National Government has significant power to regulate immigration. With power comes responsibility, and the sound exercise of national power over immigration depends on the Nation’s meeting its responsibility to base its laws on a political will informed by searching, thoughtful, rational civic discourse. Arizona may have understandable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration while that process continues, but the State may not pursue policies that undermine federal law.”

The stop and check provision that was left standing is going to be subject to years of further litigation. This ruling sends a strong message to states that this anti-immigrant legislative arms race between the states can’t contradict federal law.

The Supreme Court narrowed the papers please provision, and left the door open to future challenges based on the implementation of the law, “This opinion does not foreclose other preemption and constitutional challenges to the law as interpreted and applied after it goes into effect.”

In simple political terms, this is a win for the Obama administration and the federal government. This is a horrible day for Mitt Romney, who now finds himself campaigning on what has been ruled an unconstitutional and anti-federalist stance on immigration.

This is a bad day for the anti-immigrant right who are advocating the round them up and deport them all policy. On the campaign trail, this is a good day for Obama and a lousy day for Romney. The Supreme Court agreed with Obama’s view that the federal government is in charge of immigration policy.

The court struck down Romney’s idea that Arizona’s law was the model for immigration policy around the country. This ruling also just so happened to keep alive the one part of the Arizona law that is certain to mobilize Latino voters. This decision was one of the worst possible outcomes for Republicans and especially, Mitt Romney.

8 Replies to “A Good Day for Obama as Supreme Court Adds to Romney’s Immigration Nightmare”

  1. I think this is a good outcome for the Obama Admin, but also for undocumented immigrants in Arizona and all across the country.

    I must say I am tired of undocumented immigrants being blamed for all of society’s ills. It’s the same with teachers, firefighters, etc., and people who are receiving assistance like food stamps. They’re all made out to be responsible for everything that is wrong, or perceived wrong, in our country. It’s an unfair characterization. There are many things wrong in this country but none of those problems will be solved by tearing at the very fabric and backbone of our society.

  2. Very good article Jason. I have to say, in my snarkiest voice, any day that is awful for Romney is a great day for the rest of us.

  3. You know what would be great about America? If we went back to some of our original charter. I’ll take each and every undocumented immigrant that has the balls to show up on our doorstep, and I will tighten the noose around large corporations that lobby so they don’t have to follow the same rules as everyone else. I will trade each and every one of our billionaires for a hard-working immigrant who wants to let his family live a better life. I say let the rich people expatriate as long as they take their sacred beasts with them. America needs to once again become a country where anybody can rise to the top with their own idea, under their own power, not paid to the top because you were lucky enough to have parents that sent you to Harvard or Yale.

  4. I was interested in the part that said all of the law could not be looked at because it had not yet been implemented.
    Does this go for the ACA too?

  5. I was wondering about that, too. It would seem that they couldn’t strike down a law if it wasn’t in effect; sort of like not having standing to sue. If the mandate, for example, isn’t in effect yet, then how can anyone sue at this time? I don’t know – I’m not a lawyer so I may be completely off base. :)

  6. #Every time I hear the phrase ‘papers please’ it takes me back to when in Germany many years ago on the night train to the occupied part of the country when we crossed over the line, guards with machine guns boarded the train and when they came through the carriages they said ‘Papers please’

  7. It hasnt been that many years that my Ex and I went to Toronto Canada on a bus trip that included hotels and excursions where we had to stop at the border and display our papers(drivers license or passport). Its not so different now depending on where you go.

  8. I’m very surprised that Romney didn’t make a public statement re-asserting his support for AZ SB 1070. After all, it WAS he who said 1070 should become the immigration model for the nation. Since he didn’t, the only conclusion that I can come to in regard to his debate performance is that he was shooting off his mouth to win the republican primary. During the debates, he showed strong support for 1070. It seems that now he has hung Kobach, Brewer, and Pearce out to twist in the wind all alone. Ana Navarro, A Republican Hispanic, is disappointed that Romney didn’t say more about the Supreme Court decision. I don’t really understand why she or any other Hispanic Republican would be disappointed that Romney failed to be specific about his feelings on the SC’s 1070 ruling. He’s always shied away from providing specifics about his policies.

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