The Supreme Court came so close to blocking Arizona’s “papers, please” mandate in June and its failure to do so has serious consequences for immigrant advocates and the communities they serve. In addition to claiming that the Court could not really tell what the mandate meant, it also drew a distinction between arresting or detaining someone for possible unlawful presence (which states cannot do on their own) and simply “communicating” with the federal government about someone’s immigration status (which states can do).
In practice, this is a false distinction. And it is one that will continue to permit biased, pre-textual police behavior to shape the federal removal process; it is also one that puts CLINIC affiliates on the front lines of the need to meet an increased demand for charitable legal services and state and local advocacy efforts.
For example, one evening last July, while talking a stroll through a park near their