Supreme Court Will Hear Arguments Re Arizona’s “Papers Please” Law
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments regarding Arizona’s recently enacted and controversial laws designed to address illegal immigration in that state. Arizona’s premise is that since the federal government has been unable to stem the tide of illegal immigration, the state itself must take steps to protect its own border with Mexico. The state’s position is that the federal government has failed to execute on a Constitutional imperative.
Attorneys for the state also argue that the failure of the federal government to protect their 370-mile border with Mexico places unfair financial burdens on the state in providing health-care and educational services, as well as law enforcement, to over 400,000 illegal aliens who should have been stopped at the border.
Among the most controversial of the four provisions is the so-called “paper’s please” portion of the law. This allows law enforcement authorities to ask to see identification papers from any individual stopped for questioning. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, well known as the most liberal court in the United States,
blocked implementation of the law. Alabama has recently enacted “papers please” practices, as well.
The concern about police requesting some sort of identification seems odd because individuals who are stopped by police in other parts of the country are routinely asked to provide such information. Since being in this country illegally is, in fact, a crime, it is not clear how the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals could legally prevent law enforcement from determining if a crime has been committed.
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