Supreme Court Shoots Down Large Parts of SB 1070, Arizona Immigration Law That Rubio Dislikes, Romney Might Dislike, Who Knows?

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We had a four-story package a few weeks ago that looked at Arizona's SB 1070, the controversial law that would turn local law enforcement into immigration officials -- the controversial law that was just gutted by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court said this morning that Arizona was not allowed to make "not carrying your papers" a misdemeanor or criminalize illegal immigrants applying for jobs. The state, crazily, is also not allowed to "arrest someone based solely on the suspicion that the person is in this country illegally," per the Washington Post.

The court did uphold the part of the law that allows police to check the immigration status of those they suspect (read: brown folks) to be in the country illegally.

So what's this have to do with Florida? Well, there were a lot of Florida politicians -- including Attorney General Pam Bondi -- rooting for the bill, possibly in preparation for similar immigration laws of their own.

It's also a critical bullet point in the immigration debate in which Sen. Marco Rubio is so tenuously trying to be less Republican -- even before today's decision, people were all aflutter about Rubio saying yesterday that he didn't want to see SB 1070 come to Florida:

"It made me very uncomfortable [at first]," Rubio said on Meet the Press. "I believe Arizona has a right to pass that bill, I understand why they did it, but I don't think it's a national model, and I don't think other states should follow suit. For example, I don't want to see a law like that in Florida."

He added, though, that "I do believe that Arizona has a constitutional right to do this, but I think ultimately the blame for those kinds of laws falls on the shoulders of federal officials and the federal government for not doing its proper role in enforcing immigration laws."

It's something he's been saying for years, but it's getting new attention because of a perceived difference of opinion with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who made it clear, in spite of initial reports to the contrary, that he's totally vetting Rubio for a spot as his running mate.

Whether there's an actual difference of opinion with Romney is still up for debate, as Romney has been pretty vague on the issue in an attempt to win the votes of both immigrants and the people who hate them.

The Romney camp says Rubio isn't "breaking" with them on this because Romney doesn't believe it's "a national model" either -- though what he does think isn't exactly clear.

Romney said back in September that "I support the Arizona law by recognizing what Arizona has done -- underscored the failure of the federal government to do its job," which could mean anything, and then at a debate in February, he said, "The right course for America is to drop these lawsuits against Arizona and other states that are trying to do the job Barack Obama isn't doing."

But what that "job" is, and what Romney sees as the future of immigration policy, seems to change depending upon who's listening -- Romney said last year that he would veto the DREAM Act, and the Obama camp has been gleefully pointing out Romney's refusal to criticize Obama's move to halt deportations of some illegal immigrants brought to America as children:

"Some people have asked if I will let stand the president's executive order," Romney said. "The answer is that I will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the president's temporary measure."

Well, there you have it -- from Rubio: "Let Arizona do it's thing." From the Supreme Court: "No, Arizona is being a jerk." And from Romney: "Blah blah blah blah."

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1 comments
Lifelong Dem
Lifelong Dem

Ted Kennedy and John McCain worked out a very sensible, thorough immigration bill that provided for a long-term path to citizenship for illegals. Kennedy died and McCain then opposed his own bill so he could win the 2008 nomination by pandering to the racists and religious fanatics in the Republican Party. The President of the United States doesn't enact such legislation. The Congress does, and then he signs it or vetoes it. Anyone who blames Obama for this is an ignoramus and a moron.

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