Mixed reaction to high court's immigration decision - KCTV5

Mixed reaction to high court's immigration decision

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TOPEKA, KS (KCTV) -

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday on Arizona's controversial immigration law and it drew a mixed reaction.

One of the authors of the law, Kris Kobach, is pleased with the decision. Kobach, now Kansas Secretary of State, was a University of Missouri at Kansas City law professor when he helped write the law.

"Two words: Justice (Anthony) Kennedy. Justice Kennedy is the swing vote on the court. He wrote the opinion. He took a line down the middle and said, 'This part's OK, this part's not OK.'"

Also pleased with the decision are civil liberties leaders including the ACLU.

The high court allowed police to check the immigration status of people, but tossed out other key sections of the law.

"The bottom line is that the provision that they were most worried about and the provision that they criticized heavily, the arrest provision, is the one going forward and will be enforced in Arizona," Kobach said.

Gary Brunk, executive director of the area chapter of the ACLU, said, the court deferred judgement to state courts on the interpretation of how their laws will be applied. This is because Arizona's law wasn't in effect yet.

"I think the over arching message is that it's up to the federal government to enact legislation that has to do with immigration and not to the states and that, of course, is what we've been pushing back on," Brunk said.

Kobach said the arrest provision now may get enacted in Kansas and Missouri. It's already on the books in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.

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