While this is a significant victory for the constitution and for sane people everywhere, it is not the end of the story. The news media is parroting a press release put out by the Federation Against Immigration Reform ("FAIR") claiming this decision "obstructs local efforts to control immigration." Of course it does! Hallelujah! Do we really want every state and locality in America passing its own immigration laws? Really? Do we really need 50 different state laws and innumerable city and county laws all dealing with immigration and immigrants in a different way? Well, FAIR does, along with its loudly barking but apparently toothless watchdog, Kris Kobach. Let's hope that state and local politicians tire of spending taxpayer money defending themselves in federal court in lawsuits they cannot win.
This decision clearly establishes that the Federal Courts will continue to shot down legislation that infringes on the Federal Government's exclusive control of immigration related laws. Following the decision of the District Court in Arizona, which was another defeat for Kobach and his crusaders, the 3rd Circuit's decision also sends an indirect message to the politicians who would rather demagogue the immigration issue rather than demand that their federal legislators actually fix our broken immigration system. Perhaps now, we can move forward toward immigration reform? Don't hold your breath, there is surely more demagoguery on the way.