The court tossed out most of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, but in his dissent Scalia raised eyebrows by blasting the Obama administration’s directive to stop deporting some young illegal immigrants though that policy was not a matter before the court in the Arizona case.
“The delegates to the Grand Convention would have rushed to the exits,” Scalia wrote.
Scalia, the longest-serving justice on the high court, was not arguing that the administration’s policy was unconstitutional.
“The President said at a news conference that the new program is ‘the right thing to do’ in light of Congress’s failure to pass the administration's proposed revision of the Immigration Act.7,” Scalia wrote. “Perhaps it is, though Arizona may not think so.”
Rather, Scalia questioned the administration’s motives, arguing that it didn’t make sense for the U.S. to sue to prevent a state from implementing partial immigration reform while unilaterally enforcing another set of partial reforms.
“But to say, as the Court does, that Arizona contradicts federal law by enforcing applications of the Immigration Act that the President declines to enforce boggles the mind,” Scalia wrote.
Scalia also seemed to knock Obama’s deportation law for creating a new burden for states in dealing with immigration.
“The husbanding of scarce enforcement resources can hardly be the justification for this,” Scalia wrote. “Since the considerable administrative cost of conducting as many as 1.4 million background checks, and ruling on the biennial requests for dispensation that the non-enforcement program envisions, will necessarily be deducted from immigration enforcement.”