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)
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...