California can't set immigration policy. That's the bottom line for Californians seeking to understand how their state could be affected by the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on Arizona's immigration law, according to Kevin Johnson, dean of the University of California, Davis School of Law.
The high court struck down parts of the Arizona law that authorized police to arrest undocumented immigrants without a warrant, required "unauthorized immigrants" to carry identification papers, and forbid anyone not authorized to work in the United States from seeking a job.
The court left left untouched for now a provision that allows police to check the immigration status of anyone they stop. But it held open the door to a future review of that provision, which critics say encourages racial profiling.
California wasn't likely to have passed a similar law, Johnson told KQED's Scott Shafer. This state "learned its lesson" when a U.S. district court struck down Proposition 187, which would have stopped undocumented immigrants from using health care, public education, and other social services in California.
Also Latinos have increased their clout in the state, since the 1990s, Johnson pointed out.