A Losing Record on Immigration Cases

by Hans A. von Spakovsky

I am not sure I would agree with my friend Mark Krikorian that the Obama administration wants to lose the Arizona immigration case that the Supreme Court agreed to review today, but they may very well lose anyway. Keep in mind that the chief bone of contention in the case is the requirement that Arizona police officers check the immigration status of individuals they arrest for other violations if they have a reasonable suspicion that the individuals may be in the U.S. illegally. This commonsense requirement was just too much for the Obama administration, which sued to stop its implementation and obtained an injunction against it upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Allowing states to do that upsets the whole Obama “non-enforcement” immigration policy. The administration lost on that issue before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which disagreed with the Ninth Circuit and recently upheld a similar provision in Alabama’s immigration law.

The Obama administration also has a losing record on immigration issues involving Arizona before the Supremes. Holder’s Justice Department lost a case last term when it challenged another Arizona law that forced Arizona employers to use the E-Verify system and sanctions employers who knowingly and intentionally hire illegal aliens with the possible loss or suspension of their business license. The Supreme Court upheld that law as constitutional. If the court follows prior precedent and federal law, it is likely that Holder will lose again.