The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the “show me your papers” part of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, a move that one notable farm labor observer worries could cause other states to enact similar measures.
According to the 75-page June 25 Supreme Court ruling, Arizona should not have been precluded from implementing Section 2(B) of S.B. 1070, which “requires state officers to make a “reasonable attempt ... to determine the immigration status” of any person they stop, detain, or arrest on some other legitimate basis if “reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien and is unlawfully present in the United States.”
The Supreme Court struck down a provision of the Arizona law making it a crime to apply for or hold a job in Arizona without legal documents, and another part of the SB 1070 that made it a violation of Arizona law for immigrants not to carry valid immigration papers.
The Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the so-called “show me your papers” provision of the law is troubling, said Frank Gasperini, executive vice president of the Vienna, Va.-based National Council of Agricultural Employers, “My concern is there are probably three or four more other states who will pass some kind of similar law by early next spring when they are in session,” Gasperini said.
States that have considered similar laws include Pennsylvania, Rhode island, Oklahoma and Indiana, he said.
Gasperini said new state immigration enforcement laws could slow movement of migrant workers between states.
“This is just another reason that this whole (immigration) issue needs to be addressed at a national level,” he said. “Once again we will have states passing their own laws,” he said. “This is not going to get resolved until the federal government finds the backbone to address it and address it properly,”
One Arizona farm group wanted to examine the ruling closer.
“Our core concern is legitimate border security, visa reform and labor availability and 1070 does nothing to address this,”
Julie Murphree. director of marketing, public relations and education for the Arizona Farm Bureau, said in an e-mail. “The consequences of 1070 are too speculative and unrelated to our core concerns for us to give any assessment on the ruling,”