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Supreme Court Ruling May Curb Kentucky Immigration Law

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Activists expect the U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down most of Arizona's controversial immigration law will stifle efforts to pass a similar law in Kentucky.
Kate Miller of the state ACLU chapter says Kentuckians have largely rejected policies modeled after Arizona's law. But at least one immigration bill comes up in every legislative session.

“I’m hoping that this decision stalls some of the action that has been taken in Kentucky and other states because yes the Supreme Court has ruled again that immigration and immigration policy is completely within the authority of the federal government,” she says.

The ruling struck down the part of Arizona's law that made being an undocumented immigrant a criminal offense. But the court upheld language that requires immigrants to carry verification papers on different legal grounds.

Miller says the ACLU will continue its fight against the remaining portions of the Arizona law. She also says the ruling shows that immigration is not a criminal issue.

“I’m hoping that this is part of a larger trend, Americans are realizing that these anti-immigrant measures are not practical and just completely unjust,” she says.

Miller expects the court ruling to scuttle future immigration bills in Kentucky.

And she says the biggest part of the ruling is the court’s decision to affirm the federal government’s role as immigration authority and to decriminalize undocumented immigration.

Kenny Colston is the Frankfort Bureau Chief for Kentucky Public Radio (a collaborative effort of public radio stations in Kentucky). Colston has covered Kentucky's Capitol and state government since 2010. He is a Louisville native, and a graduate of the University of Kentucky. When he's not tracking down stories about Kentucky politics, you can often find him watching college sports, particularly football.
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