Question of the day findings: Attitudes towards SCOTUS ruling on Arizona immigration law

June 28, 2012, 4:55 PM GMT+0

According to the latest nationally-representative Economist/YouGov survey Americans favor Monday's Supreme Court decision to uphold the provision of Arizona's immigration law that requires police to check the immigration status of suspects they detain if they believe the suspects are in the U.S. illegally.

But what about the wider views surrounding the SCOTUS ruling to strike down three components of Arizona’s policy? Yesterday’s ‘Question of the day’ asked visitors to the YouGov website if the Supreme Court had made the right or wrong decision, and then asked why. Those who agreed with the ruling cited immigration policy and border control being a federal rather than state issue, the need for unity in policy towards migrants, and the perceived discriminatory nature of the policy. Those who disagreed with the ruling were divided: some felt that SCOTUS didn’t go far enough, and that the remaining provisions would lead to racial profiling. Others who disagreed with the ruling had the opposite view, and argued that states should be entitled to come up with a solution to illegal immigration if the federal government hadn’t – that the federal government had too much control.

The majority of those who took part agreed that SCOTUS had made the right decision, but here are the arguments, broken-down (click on each argument to see more quotes).

Did SCOTUS make the right or wrong decision on Arizona immigration law? Why?

“ RIGHT DECISION: Immigration policy is a Federal issue”

“ Arizona attempted to take on what is the responsibility of the federal government. We are the "United States" of America. These laws cannot and must not vary from state to state.” Jane, Chicago, IL

“ Arizona is not its own country. It is only a small part of one. Immigration laws should only be established at the Federal level, otherwise State level laws could be used to keep people from simply moving State-to-State instead of into the country.” Megan, Milwaukee, WI

“ The Arizona law as written infringes on the federal role and responsibility for immigration law and its enforcement.” Anon

“ The federal government is responsible for immigration legislation. We cannot have 50 laws as it relates to immigration.” Christian H, Atlanta, GA

“ The three items they rejected were correct since the State was intruding in Federal level responsibilities. The fourth item the approved is clearly a 10th Amendment issue since the Feds were intruding in State responsibilities.” Bob, Garland, TX

“RIGHT DECISION: The law was discriminatory”

“ I believe it's unconstitutional to treat people like they have no rights. Even illegal immigrants should have basic protection.” Anon

“ They rejected the clearly oppressive things that would allow people to be arbitrarily harassed by the police, but kept the essential bit that will help Arizona protect itself from lawless illegal aliens.” Henry M, Cary, NC

“ Arizona law was over-reaching and discriminatory.” Anon

“WRONG DECISION: The ruling didn’t go far enough”

“It is still racial profiling.” Anon, Poughkeepsie, NY

" Wrong to be profiling people on looks; any race of people could be here illegally. And police should not have to do these things, mainly because they could be sued if they didn’t profile." Anon

“ It was a politically motivated decision by the right-wing activists in the court. In their desire to punish undocumented immigrants, they are legalizing racial profiling.” Jim, Pittsboro, NC

“WRONG DECISION: States should be allowed to participate in immigration policy”

“ States have the right to make their own decisions regarding immigration and other issues. The government has too much control.” Anon

“ The Federal Government has proven to be stunningly ineffective with regard to closing and protecting our border from illegal crossing.” Ric, NJ

“ The 10th Amendment, the idea of state sovereignty as Scalia averred, was simply forgotten by the Justices. That was outrageous.” Glenn, Long Beach, CA