Arizona SB 1070 - "Show Me Your Papers" Law, Supreme Court Ruling

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Do I have My Papers to Show?About 7 hours ago, the United States Supreme Court made a ruling on Arizona SB 1070, sometimes referred to as the "Show Me Your Papers" law.

The decision, essentially, was split-- with some justices supporting and dissenting on various portions of the bill. 

I can't imagine that anyone would actually want to read the entire decision, but if you do, you can read it here. (If you want to download it, right click the link and "save as" to your computer's hard drive, or it will just open in PDF form, in a new window.)

As an Arizona resident myself, I was watching how this would play out in the Supreme Court with great interest. Actually, I've been following SB 1070 since it was first signed by Governer Jan Brewer in April of 2010. It is obviously a heated debate all over the United States, with everybody weighing in on the fate of Arizona's undocumented workers.

The bottom line:

The mostly-conservative Supreme Court tossed out 3 of 4 provisions of the law. But who cares what was thrown out? After the Supreme Court gutted the law, what is left over? What does this mean?

Interestingly, the court did not throw out the state provision requiring police to check the immigration status of someone they suspect is in the United States illegally. This was the most controversial section of the law, and this was the part that remains. Governor Jan Brewer has announced a "victory" for Arizona.

In other words, you still have to "show your papers" in Arizona. I can see this being a huge problem for those of us that are actually here legally.

My friends and family are mostly split on this issue- like most of the United States. However, as someone who lives here, I have a unique perspective in that I can actually sit- in person- and speak to both illegal aliens and the most strict supporters of the bill any time I want.

Here is what I have found:

1. Everytime I find someone in Arizona that supports the "show me your papers" law, I ask them if I can see their papers. I have been asking for over 2 years; I've asked dozens of people and nobody has been able to produce any papers upon being asked for them. Meaning: U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, green card, Visa, etc.

That is to say, every single Arizona citizen I have spoken to in two years, and who passionately supports the show me your papers law, never carries his or her papers around. This is mind-blowing to me. Are people saying "Hey, I deserve to be in jail!" Or, "Come arrest my teenager! She never carries her passport!" (the little brat)sheriff joe on illegal immigration

2. When I recently asked an illegal alien about the law, he laughed. I know a guy from El Salvador, whose visa expired a year ago, and this is what he told me:

"This is so funny Mike. Every single farm in the Valley is staffed by illegal aliens. All you have to do is walk on a farm, and they could arrest everyone. Same with slaughterhouses in Texas. Why doesn't Sheriff Joe visit the Maricopa County farmers?"

If Americans want to stop illegal aliens, they can go find them where they work in droves: Farms and slaughterhouses.

The problem with that, however, is that if Arizona farmers don't get their watermelons picked quickly, they rot in the fields. If they rot in the fields, the price of watermelon shoots up. Or, more likely, we just buy Mexican watermelons from now on and America loses another industry that contributes to our GDP and thus, our economy. If you care about spending, you need to care about earning.

They go hand in hand. 

If we don't manufacture as a country, we go down. Period. Without Gross Domestic Product (GDP), we are a worthless nation.

If anyone would like to help in the effort to get illegal aliens out of Arizona, please call Sheriff Joe's Illegal Immigration Hotline: (602) 876-4154.

Just go here and just start supplying the names of local farmers. You'd be a hero! Except, of course, Sheriff Joe isn't ever going to show up at the farms, and why not?

Because there are too many illegals on the farms!

So much for tough-talking Sheriff Joe...

[Photo of Sheriff Joe courtesy of Chris Curtis /]

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Comments (13)

Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

Mike - My guess is your take and my take on this law jive pretty well.  And I'd do the slaughterhouse gig for a cool $80,000 ... so I think I might get hired over you ;)


Jun 25, 2012 08:48 AM
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

Michael.. this is certainly a very interesting topic.. I will need to  come back and look again, as I'd be curious to see what comments are made here.. I would even question how many will comment??

Jun 25, 2012 11:16 AM
Winston Heverly
Winston Realty, Inc. - Atlantis, FL

Border language & Culture is what survives a nation, when this is compromised you have what happens, Arizona is overrun, California is overrun, Texas is overrun to name a few. The whole argument about who will pick the vegetables is a lame excuse used to avoid the real facts. When you stop and think we live where both parties in essence want the same thing there is not much hope for the REAL citizenship. 

Jun 25, 2012 11:24 AM
SEO Expert: Michael George
Phoenix, AZ
Real Estate and Law Firm SEO

@Jason-- what's up buddy? Good to "see" you around again man!

@Janis-- most who feel that SB 1070 is a good law will not comment, because they know that they themselves never carry their papers.

What can they say? The truth? "We want the police to check anybody that is brown, but not my own daughter. Not ever me or my children or my family."

We know that's what they believe, because, like I said, I've yet to meet a single AZ person with papers. But you'll never get them to admit it on camera or in print. They'll continue to say the law applies to "everyone" while they sit, paperless.

@Winston-- You say the whole "argument" is a "lame excuse," but I'm not sure I understand. I'm not arguing. I'm stating a fact: If you think Arizona is "overrun," then let's go to the farms and arrest all of those people.

You told me that I gave a "lame excuse," but I don't make excuses. You tell me: If big Joe goes and visits some farms tonight, what will happen to the rotting fruit tomorrow?

Well, I can tell you:

I'll have to keep buying lettuce and tomatoes imported from Mexico.

Isn't that ironic?

I have tomatoes in my kitchen, right now, from Mexico. If American farmers have to depend on American labor (citizens), American farms will go to Mexico.

Just like our manufacturing.

Jun 25, 2012 11:45 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Michael, It is a huge issue and where I don't like the idea of educating and giving medical services to illegals I think it is totally impractical to even think we could arrest and deport all illegals. Simply will not work. We need another solution.

Jun 25, 2012 12:28 PM
John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

Michael, I, too, am an Arizona resident. I have also been following the issue closely. I see this issue as a Tenth Ammendment State's rights issue. If the Federal Government will not enforce the laws that are on the books, I think it is Arizona's right to do what it can to handle the problem.

I think the best way of dealing with the problem is for us to "roll up the red carpet" that we allow as things are now. If we are concerned about illegals working at specific companies, I think we should "rat 'em out." I believe there are legal citizens who will work these jobs if that effort is successful.

My neighbor, who is a finish carpenter, lost his job, and subsequently his home to illegal labor.

I think there is another aspect to this issue. I think the Obama Administration has a VENDETTA against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the entire state for not going along with the Administration's Agenda.

I do not see the solution as sending the illegals back to where they came from as much as shutting off the "magnets" that draw them here as well as enforcing the border.

This problem is not going to go away as politicians on both sides of the aisle want things the way they are.

Jun 25, 2012 07:18 PM
Dale Terry
Yadkinville, NC

Michael, a couple of points. Who are you asking for ID?  Most people carry a license.  Of course maybe they don't in AZ which underscores the problem.  The law is not about carrying your papers, it is about proving who you are.  Law enforcement can easily check DMV records of those with licenses, it will have plenty of info and a picture.  In this country it is abnormal not to have an ID in some form issued by the state. 

To your second point, that is the same everywhere.  I could go to a chicken farm here and find hundreds.  Or maybe a distribution center that assembles items to be sold.  Any place that has mundane tasks and low pay.  So the states and feds caused the problem and now are afraid of the solution.  I am not much on the problem. Just fix it.  It tomatoes rot, so be it.  By stopping one problem, you create another.  It would seem that the government is fine with products out of Mexico, they are opening borders to truckers and the like.  Not much of a dent in drug smuggling, or lllegals coming across the border.  Doing nothing or very little is not the answer. 

Jun 25, 2012 08:35 PM
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

This bill should have been upheld in its entirety. Each should be entitled to make laws that are in the best interest of it's citizens.

Jun 25, 2012 10:11 PM
Karl Hess
Keller Williams Shore Properties - Barnegat, NJ
on The Jersey Shore

Reading the majority opinion it appears that the SCOTUS has left the door wide open for the 'show me your papers' portion of the law to be challenged soon as there is an appropriate case that makes it's way up the legal ladder, I wouldn't be surprised to see the whole thing gone.

Jun 25, 2012 10:16 PM
John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

Karl -- If you lived in Arizona, I think you may see things quite differently. We are being overrun by illegals and by a steady stream of terrorists who are entering our state. We have the RIGHT to protect our state from this severe threat.

Jun 26, 2012 10:55 PM
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

@ John - "We are being overrun by illegals and by a steady stream of terrorists who are entering our state."  Oh no, you've got Democrats too?!? ;)

Jun 27, 2012 01:16 PM
Jeff Richards
The Data Source - Santee, CA



Michael -


What's the big deal?   It's been Federal Law for about 72 years, that:


"Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him pursuant to subsection (d) of this section."


Check the "Alien Registration Act of 1940"  -  specifically, (e), of, 8 USC sec.1304


Jul 11, 2012 12:15 PM
SEO Expert: Michael George
Phoenix, AZ
Real Estate and Law Firm SEO

No big deal Jeff. I totally agree with you. That is the law and it should be enforced.

How do I know that you are not an alien though? You could be here from Canada.

Can you show me your papers, as required by the law you quoted in your response?

I am assuming you cannot. Thus, in Arizona, you could be arrested.

Oct 02, 2012 06:21 AM