There are differing opinions on the meaning of Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Arizona illegal immigration law. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, a Republican, says while the high court struck down three main provisions of the law, it upheld the so-called “show-me-your-papers” provision.

“Most importantly I think is, they did uphold the right to be able ask for identification. When I get stopped I expect they are going to ask for my driver’s license. Well, if somebody is here illegally, asking for their identification is appropriate, I think,” according to Branstad.

The governor says he supports what the state of Arizona is trying to do to address problems with illegals. “And especially considering they’re dealing with people who are importing illegal drugs and everything else,” he says.

Branstad says the ruling upholds the power of states to act. “I think it’s critically important that state’s have the authority to protect their citizens against people that are there illegally,” Branstad says. Branstad made his comments after touring the Plymouth Energy ethanol plant near Merrill in western Iowa.

On the other side of the issue, Iowa ACLU executive director Ben Stone issued a statement saying the Arizona ruling is “a strong rebuke to Arizona lawmakers who improperly involved their state in immigration enforcement.” Stone’s statement said, “It should be viewed as a warning to policy makers in other states who are considering whether to involve their state in this divisive issue. Not only did the U.S. Supreme Court strike down three major provisions of that law, but it expressed concerns that even the ‘show-me-your-papers” section might very well be impossible to enforce in a manner that is not in conflict with federal law.”

The statement went on to say: “The failure of the Court to recognize the draconian nature of the show-me-your-papers provision reveals that the Court remains out of touch, not realizing how such law enforcement tactics always lead to racial profiling and unfair detention of citizens and immigrants alike, “said Stone. “It is quite frankly impossible to enforce laws like Section 2B without using race, color or ethnicity. The show-me-your-papers law is inherently unequal in how it treats people, and the ACLU and its allies will ultimately prove this in court. “

Stone says the Iowa Legislature was wise to reject two bills in its recent session that would have addressed the issue.

By Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars