Lost in the commotion about the Supreme Court’s upcoming health care ruling is another hot-button issue: immigration.
The Supreme Court is expected to issue its decision on Arizona’s immigration law next week, and normally, it would be the biggest attention-getter in the mainstream media.
However, the epic battle over health-care reform will get most of the press next week, even though the immigration issue won’t go away in the 2012 presidential campaign.
The Arizona law, known as S.B. 1070, requires police to ask for documentation if they have a “reasonable suspicion” if someone is in the United States illegally.
S.B. 1070 makes it a state crime to be in the United States and seek work without proper documentation, and it provides for the arrest of people who qualify for deportation.
The Obama administration opposes S.B. 1070 as conflicting with federal laws.
If you are keeping track at home, President Barack Obama threw a curve ball at the Republicans by issuing an executive order last week, letting some illegal immigrants stay in the country temporarily.
Parts of the Obama order mirrored efforts underway by Marco Rubio, the U.S. senator from Florida, to let people stay in the country under certain circumstances.
Rubio and Obama’s opponent, Mitt Romney, ripped Obama for the timing of his executive order, which they believe undercut long-term reforms.
Then, Rubio’s autobiography hit bookshelves on Tuesday. In An American Son, Rubio said in a theoretical situation that he would try to enter the U.S. illegally, if his family were living in deplorable conditions in another country.
Rubio is a popular figure in the Latino community, while Romney badly trails Obama among Latino voters.
While Rubio has been a long-rumored potential running mate for Romney, his candidacy was called into question as the week progressed.
On Wednesday, the Republican National Committee released a video blaming Obama for the economic problems faced by Latino workers.
And later this week, Obama and Romney will speak at the annual conference of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials outside Orlando, Fla.
The Supreme Court’s ruling on Arizona v. United States might not settle the issue, according to an analysis from Reuters.
A separate legal action, Friendly House v. Whiting, challenges S.B. 1070 on grounds of racial profiling and that case has yet to be settled in the courts.
Reuters said the Supreme Court could settle Arizona v. United States but also ask the judge in the Friendly House v. Whiting case to put S.B. 1070’s enforcement on hold until the second case is settled.
In either event, the immigration issue doesn’t seem to be fading away as the presidential campaign heats up.