Show-stopper: Supreme Court upholds controversial AZ immigration law

Protesters should slogans during a protest against Arizona's immigration law on April 25, 2012 outside of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC (AFP Photo / Mandel Ngan)
The US Supreme Court finally ruled on the constitutionality of Arizona’s controversial immigration law Monday, striking down three provisions of the legislation while upholding the scandalous “show me your papers” section.

The Court has struck down most of Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration legislation, which was enacted two years earlier.

The high court ruled that Arizona’s policy of imprisoning undocumented immigrants for not possessing federal registration cards was unconstitutional. It also declared that the state could not make it a crime for illegal immigrants to seek work, while it prohibited state and local law enforcement agenciesfrom arresting immigrants without a warrant.

But the court decided that one highly contentious part of the law could go forward — a provision requiring police to check the status of someone they suspect is in the United States illegally.

However, the court's ruling takes the sting out of the law by prohibiting police officers from arresting people on minor immigration charges.

“By authorizing state and local officers to make warrantless arrests of certain aliens suspected of being removable, [Section 6 of SB 1070] too creates an obstacle to federal law. As a general rule, it is not a crime for a removable alien to remain in the United States,” writes the court.