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March 5, 2015

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immigration ruling:

Nevada minorities urged to ‘be cautious about traveling’ through Arizona

Lawmakers seem to agree reform is needed, Nevada won’t likely make any legal changes, but minorities still live in fear



Sofia Machado, center, chants along with a small crowd at the Arizona State Building in Tucson, Ariz., on Monday, June 25, 2012, during a rally after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Arizona’s immigration law.

SCOTUS Rules on Immigration Laws

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled on controversial immigration reform laws, striking down some aspects as being unconstitutional while upholding others. KSNV reports.

The Supreme Court’s partial preservation of Arizona’s immigration law isn’t likely to inspire any legal changes in Nevada. But driving east could get a whole lot trickier for Nevada’s minorities.

The court struck down three of four contested provisions of Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070 on Monday, stripping its most stringent provisions that had allowed state police to detain, arrest without a warrant and jail individuals only suspected of being undocumented.

But the decision maintained what opponents and proponents call the bedrock of the law: the police mandate to check the immigration status of anyone they pull over if there is the least suspicion that the person might be an undocumented immigrant.

Opponents of Arizona’s law call that institutionalized racial profiling. Supporters of Arizona’s law call it enforcement.

Either way, it creates a precedent for other states that have been waiting for the Supreme Court to pass judgment in this case to implement their own laws on roadside immigration checks.

Those states include Utah, where a law allowing status checks in some detention circumstances was temporarily suspended pending the Supreme Court’s decision in Arizona, and Idaho, one of the handful of states that supported Arizona’s petition and has considered instituting similar laws at home.

In other words, Nevada’s eastern and northeastern borders are now flanked by states that have or are looking to adopt stringent illegal immigration laws. That could pose problems for some Nevadans as they migrate from home.

As people head to and through Arizona, officers are waiting to check the immigration status of anyone whom they might encounter though routine enforcement of the public order.

“I would definitely advise people to be cautious about traveling,” said Fatima Marouf, who runs the Immigration Clinic at UNLV’s Boyd School of Law. “Even though the Arizona law says police can’t consider race or nationality in stopping people ... a lot of bias is implicit. It doesn’t have to be consciously considered.”

Because of the Supreme Court’s ruling, a Hispanic speeding to an important meeting in Phoenix is no longer in danger of being arrested on suspicion of being in the country illegally. But that person may still miss the appointment if there’s a delay in process.

Click to enlarge photo

Maria Durand, left, and Rosa Maria Soto, both from Arizona, cheer as the U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding Arizona's controversial immigration law, SB1070, comes down at the Arizona Capitol on Monday, June 25, 2012, in Phoenix. The Supreme Court struck down key provisions of Arizona’s crackdown on immigrants Monday but said a much-debated portion on checking suspects’ status could go forward.

For the undocumented immigrant, the risk is the same: Inability to prove residency at a routine traffic stop or other arbitrary detention could lead to deportation.

“Definitely, Latinos are going to be most at risk. So the burden is going to fall on Latinos who are here legally. ... Studies show that people don’t see them as being as American as whites,” Marouf said. “Naturalized, or even U.S.-born Latinos are going to be stopped a lot more.”

By comparison, people of Indian, Vietnamese, Korean and other Asian descent might be stopped far less because the assumption that they are in the country illegally isn’t as strong as for Hispanics, Marouf said. That’s despite the fact that many Asians immigrated illegally to the United States.

That’s no comfort to the Asian population in Las Vegas, however, who fear becoming ensnared in Arizona’s immigration laws.

“My niece and nephew go to school in Arizona, and I could see them being pulled over for no good reason because they are suspected of being an illegal immigrant,” said Amie Belmonte, the president of Filipino-American Political Organization with Equal Representation’s Las Vegas chapter. “What would it be based on? Nothing more than their name or the color of their skin?”

Democratic politicians echoed those fears on Monday in the wake of the court’s decision.

“Allowing Arizona to keep its ‘papers please’ system of immigration checks invites racial profiling,” Sen. Harry Reid warned after the Supreme Court released its decision. “As long as this provision remains, innocent American citizens are in danger of being detained by police unless they carry immigration papers with them at all times.”

President Barack Obama also voiced concerns about racial discrimination, even though the Justice Department declined the opportunity to argue on those grounds in the Arizona case.

“No American should ever live under a cloud of suspicion just because of what they look like. Going forward, we must ensure that Arizona law enforcement officials do not enforce this law in a manner that undermines the civil rights of Americans,” Obama said in a statement. “What this decision makes unmistakably clear is that Congress must act on comprehensive immigration reform. A patchwork of state laws is not a solution to our broken immigration system; it’s part of the problem.”

Perhaps the most unexpected outcome of the Supreme Court’s split decision Monday was the political unanimity it inspired. Both Republicans and Democrats called for a federal solution to the problem.

“Today’s decision underscores the need for a president who will lead on this critical issue and work in a bipartisan fashion to pursue a national immigration strategy,” Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said, blaming Obama for not having made good on his promise to handle immigration matters the last four years.

“I would have preferred to see the Supreme Court give more latitude to the states, not less,” he added.

Arizona Republicans cheered the Supreme Court’s decision as a win because it upheld the “heart” of SB1070. The court refused to rule on the legality of immigration checks during casual detentions because lower courts hadn’t yet had a chance to register an opinion on the practice.

Provisions that failed under the court’s scrutiny included criminalizing looking for work without proper documentation and being in the country without registration papers. The court also struck down a provision that would let police arrest suspected undocumented immigrants without a warrant.

Click to enlarge photo

Some of the highlights in President Obama's new immigration reforms are shown on a television Friday, June 15, 2012 at the offices of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.

But in Nevada, Republicans did not cheer the result. Instead, they deflected, addressing the tense political climate surrounding immigration in Washington instead of the merits of the court’s decision.

Some used the opportunity to take a shot at the president’s week-old announcement that he would grant temporary work visas to undocumented youths.

“States at the epicenter of our country’s illegal immigration issues are understandably frustrated with the administration’s selective enforcement of federal law,” Nevada Rep. Joe Heck said in a statement. “Short-term, politically motivated attempts to circumvent the need for meaningful reform will only compound the problem.”

Others complained that the federal government wasn’t doing enough to enforce the laws on the books.

“Enforcing the laws and improving the processing of immigration applications would go a long way toward fixing the current immigration system and keeping states from acting on their own,” said Stewart Bybee, a communications director for Sen. Dean Heller.

While Obama’s administration has recently announced stop-orders on certain types of deportation, mainly for undocumented youths brought to this country as children, his administration has made record deportations. Border crossings are also down.

But for Democrats — for Rep. Shelley Berkley especially — this is about the bigger political picture.

“I have opposed this law from the beginning while my opponent, Sen. Dean Heller, not only supports it but wants to bring it here to Nevada,” Berkley said after registering her qualms about the potential for racial profiling through what remains of what she calls Arizona’s “radical” law. “We cannot allow that to happen.”

Last year, Heller expressed his support for Arizona’s law in a public appearances and an interview, going so far as to say he would have voted for it were he in Arizona and that he would support a similar policy in Nevada.

But while the Supreme Court’s ruling on Arizona may touch off efforts to crack down on undocumented immigrants in other states, there’s not as much interest in Nevada as there is elsewhere. Gov. Brian Sandoval remains completely disinterested in seeing a march in Nevada toward any kind of Arizona law.

“I have always supported Arizona’s 10th Amendment right to enact laws,” Sandoval said Monday. “[I] have said all along the law is not needed in Nevada.”

Tovin Lapan contributed to this report.

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  1. I'm waiting for the legislation that frees corporations to use foreign labor legally, with no minimum wage or safety protections applicable, and to capture more taxes.

    You just know it will happen sooner or later.

    Then, this sort of legislation would simply aggravate the business sector more, because of lost productivity while workers repeatedly had to prove their ability to be here with permission and have it validated.

  2. This identification verification is just one step in a grand plan towards compelling people to undergo Veri-Chip implantation. The unit, size of a grain of rice, contains all pertinent information of an individual, accounts, healthcare related items, which had already been approved by the FDA for use, and is written in the Affordable Care Act as part of management and fraud prevention!

    Citizens of the USA are truly frustrated with the lack of enforcement of immigration laws already on the books. With this country rapidly being populated by a majority of Hispanic immigrant to nearly make it 48% of the total USA population, we now trend on a slippery slope politically. It is a huge mess from "kicking the can down the political road" that nothing short of invasive and extreme measure will solve.

    The fact is, our country has suffered from a real lack of leadership for decades. Anything done now will been seen as extreme because the problem was allowed to spin out of control, sad to say.

    Blessings and Peace,

  3. Carrying identification is not a new requirement. Your are REQUIRED to have positive proof of identification wherever you travel in the US, and NOT JUST IMMIGRANTS. Go to Europe or anywhere outside of the US, if you are a US citizen you carry your passport (to prove your identity). Trying to usurp the identification requirement is one way to get around not possessing ANY ID. If you are legal you have ID, if you are not you DON'T have any form of identification, and therefore are going to get shipped back to wherever you came from when you get discovered. If I get pulled over for a violation, and do not have ID, I get detained (regardless of color), why should it be different for the poor illegal immigrants.

  4. All illegal immigrants should have something to worry about anywhere in the US. This problem could be licked if people who hire illegal immigrants on all levels and all nationalities were prosecuted under current federal law. But those employers as well as anyone in federal law enforcement know federal immigration laws are a joke.

  5. Ugh! Tired of Americans complaining about EVERYTHING, you can't do, ask or suggest anything anymore without a group protesting about it...I hope that Arizona gets rid of all undocumented individuals and that more states follow Arizona's example.

  6. "...minorities still live in fear." Baloney! Watch any cable news network and you'll see illegals hiding in plain sight. Lately, there's one guy who has been featured on a number of broadcasts who fearlessly announces he's an illegal and has he been detained and/or deported? Are you kidding? When asked, he feels little compassion for those who are doing the correct thing by filing the necessary forms, paying their dues and patiently waiting in line, many of whom he and his fellow illegals are responsible for not being able to emigrate to the USA. Now he wants a "path" to citizenship? Give me a break! Yeah, let's reward law breakers those who thumb their noses at the sovereignty of the United States. Better yet, let's throw their behinds out of our country!

  7. Maybe Obama and company can update a page on the whitehouse website (at least until he is out of office) showing us legal Americans, what laws will be enforced this week and what laws we don't have to follow.

    I always thought a law was there for a reason, not a campaign contribution.

  8. A nation without borders is not a nation.

  9. This war on Hispanics is seriously making me ashamed of being a Republican. I think we have much more serious issues then worrying about this crap! My family came to this country from Italy in 1909, no application fee, no money, no sponsor, nothing but a small suitcase of clothes and a few photos. They were the victims of racial insults, bigotry, and everything else that Hispanics are now enduring. It's truly sad to me that we as a nation have become no better at being good people in over 100 years. You all should be ashamed of yourselves!

  10. If you are in this country legally, you have nothing to worry about. As a legal alien, be sure to carry your alien registration card. It's that simple. If you are here illegally, leave now to avoid "inconvenient" deportation.

  11. Ms. Demirjian,

    The United States Census Bureau has the following statistic for Las Vegas, Nevada - you know, the town we live in:

    The percent of White persons not Hispanic in 2010 was 47.9%.

    Perhaps you or Ms. Marouf could advise the readers of the Las Vegas Sun as to who it is who should "be cautious about traveling" through Arizona.

    The only color I see is yellow, Ms. Demirjian, as in Yellow Journalism.


  12. Whoa!!!

    A lot of hate out there...

  13. So the Tbaggers are up in arms because they fear the Latino's will all vote Democratic.

    What a bunch of low-life hypocrites they all are.

    And thank you President Obama for challenging Arizona's bogus immigration laws in the Supreme Court.

  14. Stupid story. Why should they be cautious? If they are here legally they don't have to worry, if they are not here legally they should be scared sh!tless.

  15. Also, Arizona is to the south, not the east. Last time I checked.

  16. There is a credible reason to be concerned with the use of RFIDs or VeriChips. If you spend time to research these, you will develop a sense of caution. From an article in WIRED, I submit an excerpt.

    Here is an excerpt from Wired about the use of RFIDs as Verichip: Link-

    "Silverman also backed away from some of the Orwellian ideas floated by his cyberpunk predecessor. "I can tell you that " putting [the chips] into children and immigrants for identification purposes, or putting them into people, especially unwillingly, for financial transactions, has [not] been and never will be the intent of this company as long I'm the chairman and CEO," he says.

    Yet in 2004, Silverman told the Broward-Palm Beach New Times that the VeriChip could be used as a credit card in coming years. And in 2006, he went on Fox & Friends to promote the chipping of immigrant guest workers to track them and monitor their tax records.

    And ahead of the recent merger, VeriChip gave a presentation to investors hinting there would be some cross-pollination between the two sides of the business. It plans to "cross-sell its customer base" (.pdf) the Health Link service and vice-versa. So, Americans with implanted VeriChips will be encouraged to divulge their finances to PositiveID, while credit-monitoring customers will be marketed the health-record microchip."

    Furthermore, found on Details Here: (used for purchasing)

    "Then in November the tune changed, from a medical device back to a location and tracking device, as a Washington forum debated the benefits and hazards posed by a new way of identifying people with a microchip implanted under their skin to replace conventional paper identification. Privacy advocates argued the microchip could spell the end of anonymity in the United States, particularly if authorities began requiring people to wear them to meet conditions of parole, employment or border crossings. "

    Very few people ever thought the USA would ever be invaded and terrorized, yet we had the 9-11 attacks with the World Trade Center destroyed and a major hit on the Pentagon. The reality is that the RFIDs and VeriChips are here, cleared by the FDA and even a part of the ACA, and no one blinks an eye! Guess the eyes have to be open, in order to blink!
    Blessings and Peace,

  17. Propaganda Techniques of German Fascism

  18. We reject CRIMINAL lawbreakers. The illegals can go through Arizona as they hike south and go home. Leave your "assets" cause we need to pay down all the debt you've caused--K-12, law enforcement, prisons, courts, social services.

  19. "Haters" is an unjustifiable and overused word here. Also, the difference between "legal" and "illegal" seem to be blurred. The actual meanings of those 2 words are in fact very clear for those who care to recognize.