The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal judge’s earlier ruling blocking the most controversial aspects of the Arizona immigration law.
The law would require Arizona police officers force to demand documentation from suspected illegal immigrants. Furthermore, police would be forced to detain those who are arrested until their immigration status was verified with the federal authorities before releasing them from police custody.
The Obama administration fought against the law saying it is unconstitutional because it intrudes on federal authority. The law would essentially turn state police officers into immigration officers, something that is impermissible according to the Constitution, which explicitly gives the federal government power over immigration policy enforcement. The Arizona law could also adversely affect foreign policy according to the administration. Two judges agreed and ruled against Arizona, while one judge dissented in part.
Naturally, the concerns surrounding this law stem from the unequal treatment of visible minorities that is likely to follow if the law is passed. The law’s implementation would make stereotyping legal by law enforcement, creating a state in which officers stop individuals who have “Hispanic” features, darker skin or an assumed race. The law would embed racial factors into Arizona’s legal fabric, and reinforce stereotypes rather than undoing them.