Local Reaction to Arizona Immigration Law Decision
Immigration has been a hot issue for decades and many Northern Nevadans agree that it's not going anywhere, anytime soon. While both sides can claim victory, neither are 100% happy with the ruling.
Even though the Supreme Court rejected most of Arizona's immigration law, the Justices did uphold a major part of it. They are allowing law enforcement officials to ask for immigration papers during traffic stops.
"People should be outraged by this decision by the Supreme Court because this is against civil rights," Community Organizer Mario Dela Rosa said.
Dela Rosa says this particular decision opens the door to racial discrimination against Hispanics.
"What happens when people don't have their documentation with them?" Dela Rosa said. "What's going to happen? They are going to be arrested or they are going to be interrogated?"
Others say that is not how the law is written.
"You stop somebody, they don't have a driver's license, you might ask a question," Washoe County Republican Party Chairman Dave Buell said. "You stop a person, they don't speak any English, you might ask a question. But it wasn't anybody that looks Hispanic, you ask them for their papers."
Another part of today's decision focused on whether Arizona's immigration law enforces federal law or undermines it.
"That's what Arizona's problem is," Buell said. "The federal government wasn't doing their job. So, they tried to enact laws so they could take care of the problem that they're facing down there in Arizona."
Some who oppose this law say there should be one immigration law for all 50 states.
"Each state having its own immigration law, that's going to be a disaster," Dela Rosa said. "Some states are going to be very friendly to immigrants. Other states are going to be fighting against immigrants."
With more than 11.5 million illegal immigrants living in the United States, one thing both sides agree on is the federal government needs a new policy.
"We think the solution is in Congress," Dela Rosa said. "Comprehensive immigration reform might be the solution to this broken immigration system."
"Once we stop the flow, then we can talk about handling the people that are already here and come up with a fair plan to handle it and be fair to everybody, Buell said.