Could Supreme Court ruling impact the valley? - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Could Supreme Court ruling impact the valley?

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

The country has been watching the battle over immigration reform. It heated up even more Monday when the Supreme Court struck down most of Arizona's tough immigration law, but the High Court upheld the measure that allows police to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.

In Columbus, that decision worries Columbus State University students Rachel Miranda and Luis Ortiz.

"I know that one of my cousins, he was pulled over, and they asked him for his stuff, his papers, and he was born in California.  He is an American citizen yet because of how he looks he got pulled over," said Miranda.

Alabama and Georgia have similar sections of immigration law.  In Georgia, law enforcement has been able to check someone's immigration status if there is reasonable suspicion, but that is on hold pending a review from an appeals court.

"You can always set down guidelines as to what probable cause is or what to look for, but the police officer, he is always going to have his own little biases here and there" said Ortiz.

Immigration attorney Bobby Olds, whose practice is based in Columbus, says state laws have not changed his practice.  Instead, he says federal policies are really what impact immigration law.

"These things that the Arizona law has and wanted to keep, they could have gotten them from the federal government through the 287G program or through the Secure Communities program," said Olds.

 He says state laws may change, but no matter what, Olds does not expect much enforcement in Alabama or Georgia.

"Most of the sheriff's departments, police departments don't want to have to deal with this.  I mean because it sort of gums up the works," said Olds.

Justices of the High Court said the controversial provision in Arizona's law could still be subject to additional legal challenges.

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