On the immigration front, a great deal has changed since July 2010. While several other state legislatures emulated or surpassed Arizona's immigration push, the statistics tell us that the problem may be waning.
Immigration into the United States from Mexico is down sharply, a shift this recent Pew Research Center study
suggests may have begun as early as 2005. Meanwhile, businesses in those eager states quickly learned what "attrition through enforcement" really
means -- many workers simply left, causing economic turmoil. Hey, Alabama, your new immigration law may cost your state $11 billion. Was it really worth it?
Verrilli and Clement -- quick, Hollywood, please sign them up for Road to Maricopa! -- will be fighting about all of this in front of
just eight justices. Justice Elena Kagan has recused herself from
this case, presumably because of her work in the solicitor general's office before she ascended to the Court. This means that one or more of the issues
in the case may generate a 4-4 tie, which means that the lower court decision stands, which would mean, in this case, that the most controversial parts
of the statute would remain as they are today: unenforced and unenforceable.
THE FOUR SECTIONS (ARIZONA'S VERSION)
Here are the provisions at the core of the current fight. Each has been held unconstitutional, first by U.S District Judge Susan
Bolton, the federal jurist who initially evaluated the statute in
2010, and then
by a majority panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year. This is how Arizona, in its opening brief in this case, describes the statutory sections in
provides that "[f]or any lawful stop, detention or arrest made" by Arizona law enforcement, "where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an
alien and is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the
... adds to Arizona peace officers' warrantless arrest authority by authorizing such arrests when "the officer has probable cause to believe ... [t]he
person to be arrested has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States."
... incorporates and enforces the requirements of the federal alien registration laws. It provides that "[i]n addition to any violation of federal law,
a person is guilty of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document if the person is in violation of 8 [U.S.C. §§] 1304(e) or
makes it a misdemeanor for "a person who is unlawfully present in the United States and who is an unauthorized alien to knowingly apply for work,
solicit work in a public place or perform work as an employee or independent contractor in this state.
THE FOUR SECTIONS (UNITED STATES' VERSION)