Supreme Court Won't Revive Arizona's Immigrant-Harboring Law

The Supreme Court has rejected an attempt to resurrect a provision of SB1070, Arizona’s controversial immigration law, that would have made it a crime to harbor undocumented immigrants. The provision was previously ruled unconstitutional by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, prompting the state of Arizona to appeal. However, that appeal was rejected by the high court on Monday, and as such, the harboring provision is the fifth part of the 2010 law to be struck down by a federal court.

The statute would have required state police to arrest anybody guilty of harboring or transporting undocumented immigrants. The 9th Circuit had ruled that the statute was both vague and unnecessary, given that harboring undocumented immigrants is already prohibited by federal law.

While pro-immigrant groups hailed the decision, the most controversial component of SB1070 remains on the books. That’s the statute requiring law enforcement officers to question the immigration status of anybody “suspected” of being in the country illegally. While it was initially blocked by a lower court, it was ultimately reinstated by the Supreme Court in 2012.

That said, several other components of SB1070, also known as the “Papers, Please” law, have been ruled unconstitutional, including a section that required immigrants to carry registration papers at all times and one that banned undocumented workers from seeking employment in public spaces.