One thing is clear in today’s Supreme Court ruling that struck down parts of Arizona’s controversial immigration law while keeping its key part: Much of it was written in the last week or so.
That much is clear in a strongly worded dissent from today’s decision. In it, Justice Anton Scalia takes aim at President Barack Obama’s recent immigration policy change, that eliminates deportation of young people who brought to the country illegally by their parents. That policy was only announced a week ago.
The policy wasn’t before the Supreme Court, but Scalia gave it a blistering review:
The President said at a news conference that the new program is “the right thingto do” in light of Congress’s failure to pass the Administration’s proposed revision of the Immigration Act. Perhaps it is, though Arizona may not think so. But to say, as the Court does, that Arizona contradicts federal law by enforcing applications of the Immigration Act that the President declines to enforce boggles the mind.
The Court opinion’s looming specter of inutterable horror–“[i]f §3 of the Arizona statute were valid, every State could give itself independent authority to prosecute fed eral registration violations,” seems to me not so horrible and even less looming. But there has come to pass, and is with us today, the specter that Arizona and the States that support it predicted: A Federal Government that does not want to enforce the immigration lawsas written, and leaves the States’ borders unprotected against immigrants whom those laws would exclude. So the issue is a stark one. Are the sovereign States at themercy of the Federal Executive’s refusal to enforce the Nation’s immigration laws?
Find the entire opinion (and dissent) here.