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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Surrounded by barbed wire, Jorge Mendez joins others from Promise Arizona to protest the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision on Arizona's immigration law SB1070 at a vigil set up in front of the Capitol Friday, June 22, 2012, in Phoenix. Opponents of the measure have set up an around-the-clock vigil until the ruling is handed down. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
A Western Newspaper Sampler: Supremes rule on Arizona immigration law ...

- Immigration law: Supreme Court thumps Arizona - Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

As predicted, the U.S. Supreme Court rightly struck down three out of four provisions of Arizona’s immigration enforcement law because they violated the constitutional supremacy of the Congress to create immigration law. However, the high court let stand, for now, the provision that served as a model for Utah’s immigration enforcement law. Explicit in the court’s decision, however, is the worry that these laws could lead to abuses, a concern that we share.

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The principles involved in these cases are simple. The Constitution gives the federal government broad power to establish a uniform system of immigration laws, and its supremacy clause gives the feds authority to preempt state laws in this field. The wisdom of this policy is obvious, because it would make little sense for each of the 50 states to be free to set up their own systems of immigration.

However, the provision of the Arizona law that the Supreme Court upheld is grounded on the idea that state and local law officers should assist federal immigration officers in enforcement. ...

... But even at that, the high court expressed concern about whether officers would delay the release of detainees simply to verify immigration status. This could be unconstitutional if it occurred. However, the court’s major concern was that the state courts have not yet had an opportunity to review this provision of the statute. The same would be true of Utah’s law.

In short, this ruling is not the final word. How the laws are implemented could make all the difference

- Congress to blame for stalled immigration reform - Peg McEntee, The Salt Lake Tribune

... Immigrants founded this nation and have enriched it for centuries. Unfortunately, we can’t trust Congress to do anything about the immigration problem in the foreseeable future. ...


And that makes it all the more compelling that Congress get its act together, find a way to stake out a piece of common ground and pass comprehensive immigration reform. ...

It appears the Supreme Court of the United States concurs. ...

Rather than a victory, the court's ruling was a stern directive that raises the stakes for Congress. ...

That would be the Legal Arizona Workers Act, a 2008 measure that puts the issue of illegal immigration right where it belongs, in the laps - and on the laptops - of employers who seek to enhance their own profits while disregarding the real or imagined damage undocumented workers cause.

With e-Verify in place, law enforcement can arrest the people who are truly a danger to society and let the workplace take care of those who came looking for jobs.

But that all makes too much sense.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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