By Teri Walker–
Governor Jan Brewer and the State of Arizona filed a petition Aug. 10 with the U.S. Supreme Court asking for the review of lower-court decisions that blocked critical elements of Senate Bill 1070, the immigration law that has put Arizona in the national spotlight.
“For too long, the federal government has turned a blind eye as this problem has manifested itself in the form of drop houses in our neighborhoods and crime in our communities,” said Brewer. “SB 1070 was Arizona’s way of saying that we won’t wait patiently for federal action any longer. If the federal government won’t enforce its immigration laws, we will.”
Brewer is seeking the Supreme Court’s ruling on the constitutionality of SB 1070.
“Make no mistake, this legal battle is not just about Arizona. It’s about the bedrock constitutional principle of federalism under which states have the inherent authority to protect the safety and welfare of their citizens. State action becomes a duty in times like these when the federal government has so thoroughly abdicated its responsibility,” the governor continued.
SB 1070 was signed into law in April 2010. Immediately following the signing, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton of the Ninth District Court enjoined the law at the request of the Department of Justice, blocking key portions of the law from taking effect.
The portions enjoined dealt with: making it a crime for individuals to fail to apply for or carry alien registration papers; requiring law enforcement to make a reasonable attempt to learn the immigration status of an individual who is stopped, detained or arrested, and hold people indefinitely until their immigration status can be confirmed; making it a crime for illegal immigrants to apply for work, or work in the state; and allowing a person to be arrested without a warrant if there is probable cause to believe the person has committed a crime that would make them eligible for deportation.
“One of the most shocking parts of the Ninth Circuit decision was the claim that Arizona was interfering with foreign policy, a federal monopoly,” said Attorney General Tom Horne. “Arizona established no embassies or consulates, and signed no treaties. What it did do is adopt policies that other countries disagree with. If the Ninth Circuit holding that that is prohibited to the state is not overturned by the Supreme Court, this country’s sovereignty is in trouble.”