Supreme Court on Immigration Law

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 8:37am

Steve Handelsman reports on the Supreme Court's decision on Arizona's immigration law.

Both sides had something to celebrate as the high court handed down the Arizona decision on Monday.

By a vote of five to three, the justices upheld the the most controversial part of the law: requiring police to check the immigration status of anyone they stop and suspect is not in the U.S. legally.

The court is rejecting the claim that's only the Federal Government's job.

Swing justice Anthony Kennedy sided with court conservatives, writing for the majority.

"The mandatory nature of the status checks does not interfere with the federal immigration scheme. Consultation between Federal and State officials is an important feature of the immigration system," said Justice Kennedy.

That's what Arizona's Republican Governor Jan Brewer had argued.

"This is a day that we have been waiting for. And make no mistake, Arizona is ready. Civil rights will be protected. Racial profiling will not be tolerated," said Brewer.

But opponents of the so called show me your papers provision will fight on.

"I believe it's the most venomous part. Based on race, based on nationality, and based on racial profiling," said Representative Raul Grijalva.

And the high court made clear it clear that if Arizona cops profile or bend the rules to make arrests, the law could be back in court.

Struck down on Monday are the parts of the law banning living and working in Arizona without papers and police arresting those suspects without warrants.

President Obama celebrated that, but played up instead what he did on immigration.

"It's time to stop denying citizenship to responsible young people who are children of undocumented workers," said President Obama.

Mitt Romney was also cautious, saying in a statement that the nation needs comprehensive immigration reform.

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