Saturday, February 4, 2012

Supreme Court to hear Arizona immigration arguments April 25

The U.S. Supreme Court said on Friday it will hear arguments on April 25 on the power of states to adopt tough immigration laws, concluding the term's scheduled oral arguments with a major case pitting Arizona against the Obama administration.

The high court released on Friday its April calendar, listing immigration and other cases scheduled to be heard in its final argument sitting for the current term, which began in October and ends in late June.

At issue is whether federal immigration laws take precedence and pre-empt Arizona's controversial law that gives local police broad new powers to crack down on illegal immigrants.

The Supreme Court in December agreed to hear Arizona's appeal arguing the law should be allowed to take effect. It was expected that oral arguments would be held in late April, but the exact date was not known until Friday.

Election-year rulings in the immigration case and on President Barack Obama's sweeping healthcare overhaul are both expected by late June, in the middle of the president's campaign for re-election.

A decision upholding Arizona's law would be a legal and political setback for Obama, who has strongly criticized it. A decision striking down the law would be a defeat for Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer, who had a testy airport exchange with Obama last month.

The immigration arguments are expected to be the usual one hour.

The Supreme Court case is Arizona v. United States, No. 11-182.


Australia: Another sinking renews 'stop the boats' call

OPPOSITION immigration spokesman Scott Morrison says efforts in the Malaysia boat disaster are focused on "recovery and rescue". At least eight asylum seekers were found dead early yesterday after their boat capsized off southern Malaysia while en route to Australia. Grave fears are held for about six others who are missing. Thirteen people made it to shore.

"The effort at the moment always has to focus on recovery and rescue," Mr Morrison said in Sydney today.

He said the Coalition remained committed to its policy of reopening the detention centre on Nauru, the reintroduction of temporary protection visas (TPVs) and the towing of boats back to Indonesia. "That is the policy that's proven, that is the policy that's strong and that's the policy that should be restored to stop the boats," he said.

Mr Morrison said there would be no more talks with the Government about resurrecting the offshore processing of asylum seekers. "There is no further talks because the Government has refused to change the legislation," he said.

"The Government clearly has been seeking to do nothing other than trash the Nauru option with their ridiculous costings, which have been lampooned around the country. "They have no serious intention of destroying temporary protection visas, we know they won't turn the boats back."

This week's boat accident comes two months after more than 200 asylum seekers drowned when their vessel sank after leaving for Australia from East Java in Indonesia.


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