Immigration ruling could make it more difficult for Ariz. dairies

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Arizona dairy farmers, who rely heavily on immigrant labor, now face another obstacle in keeping their work force intact. According to a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, it’s OK for police officers in Arizona to check the immigration status of the people they have stopped.  

It appears from the ruling that police can stop, question and briefly detain immigrants if they believe the persons are in the country illegally. However, they must check with federal immigration agents before deciding who to hold. Federal agents will have ultimate authority on who to deport.

Traffic stops by police officers have been a tricky proposition in the past, as this article from Dairy Herd Management points out. The article describes a situation in western Kansas where immigrant workers were detained, which ended up depriving one dairy of some key employees.

The Arizona measure at the center of the Supreme Court decision on Monday was signed into law in 2010, but has been on hold pending the outcome of legal challenges.

The Obama administration sued Arizona over the law, and that is how it ended up in front of the Supreme Court.

While the Obama administration lost on one count, it won on others.  

Other parts of the law, including a provision that made it a state crime for illegal immigrants to seek work, were struck down by the Supreme Court.  

Indeed, the ruling gave both sides something to cheer about. Read more.

The fact that both sides are claiming victory shows how uncertain the immigration debate has become -- and makes a person wonder if any kind of resolution was actually achieved on Monday.

The Supreme Court's decision highlights the need for continued efforts to reform federal immigration laws, according to the National Milk Producers Federation.

“We hope that this decision will create enough momentum to have Congressional action rather than having more of the state anti-immigration laws,” said Jaime Castaneda, senior vice president for strategic initiatives and trade policy at NMPF.


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Bill Bivens    
Parma, Michigan  |  June, 25, 2012 at 07:38 PM

How simple and smooth life would be if people would just follow the laws. Here illegally you've a problem. Not here illegally then you don't have a problem. Hiring illegals you have a problem. Not hiring illegals you don't have a problem. This applies to most other things, paying taxes, driving the speed limit, Watch most evening TV programs and every rule/law breaker has a rationalization for you name it. Yes some laws and regulation can be a pain or maybe even wrong but keep life simple follow the law until it is changed. Maybe it is inconvient but not much simpathy here. I don't want to live in a society without laws. And if anyone really thinks about they wouldn't either.

Johnny Stansell    
Abilene, Tx  |  June, 26, 2012 at 09:24 AM

I agree follow the law! As there is a need for agricultre to hire people who will work from Mexico or south of the border and none from the USA...change the worker laws!!! There are so many Americans out of work that it is a pure shame that Americans will not actually work hard for a living at fair wages. When we had a dairy we always paid much more than base wage laws, paid for all food and housing and medical care. Workers loved us, but we made sure all had permits to work in the USA.

PHX  |  June, 26, 2012 at 10:08 AM

There are two sides to the issue. I understand that the rule of law needs to be upheld. No problem. Now, say you are 20 years old and desire to come to the US legally. You are motivated to work hard. You apply for proper papers. Your new, young family is without basic necessities. You want to be a good citizen, a good father, husband. With current government red tape, you would be able to enter the work force at age 35. THIRTY FIVE! Nearly half of your productive life - not quite, but close enough - is spent waiting for bureaucrats to get to your folder. And we wonder why people are coming illegally? At our business, we use E-Verify, so don't think we use folks that are not qualified. But there is a real problem with our immigration rules and regs that need to be worked on.

CT  |  June, 27, 2012 at 06:35 AM

A change needs to be made with worker immigration. We need people to milk our cows, pick our fruit and do hundreds if not thousands of jobs that legal americans won't do. And to stop and hold people because of their nationality is profiling. I strongly agree we need a workable immigration policy from Washington but consider what our country needs to maintain our businesses.

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