Jan Brewer, Arizona
Governor: Supreme Court Immigration Ruling Vindicates Arizona Law
June 26, 2012
President Barack Obama on Monday welcomed the ruling by the Supreme
Court of the United States striking down key provisions of an
immigration law in the state of Arizona. But Obama says he is concerned
about a remaining provision upheld by the high court.
The court struck down three key provisions of the law the Arizona
legislature approved in 2010 as part of a series of measures to stem
illegal immigration in the state.
The law made it a crime for immigrants without work permits to seek
employment, required immigrants to carry registration documents, and
authorized police to arrest any immigrant they believe to be deportable
- all three provisions struck down by the Supreme Court.
But the nation's highest court upheld the so-called "stop and check"
provision of the law that requires authorities to ask people they detain
and “reasonably” suspect of being illegal aliens to produce
In a written statement, President Obama expressed concern about what he
called the "practical impact" of the provision. "No American," he said,
"should ever live under a cloud of suspicion just because of what they
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, a Republican, said her state was
"vindicated" by the court's decision on the provision. Arizona, she
said, was forced to act in 2010 because the federal government failed to
act aggressively against illegal immigration.
"Arizona had no other choice but to act and Arizona did so by following,
not changing, federal law. Instead of devoting resources to suing states
likes Arizona, the federal government should have spent time, money and
energy on fixing the problem," Brewer said.
Brewer and state officials say they will ensure that the "stop and
check" provision of the law is not used for racial profiling.
President Obama said Arizona law enforcement officials must ensure that
the law is not enforced “in a manner that undermines the civil rights of
Americans, as the Court’s decision recognizes."
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the federal government will be
watching closely to ensure that the law is not being implemented "in a
manner that has the purpose or effect of discriminating against the
Latino or any other community.
Arizona along with Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah
have adopted laws to stem the tide of illegal aliens and control crime
seen as directly linked to illegal immigration.
Stephen Yale-Loehr, who teaches immigration law at Cornell University
Law School, says the Supreme Court ruling will have a big impact on
Arizona and other states.
"The court took a very broad view of federal immigration law and struck
down three of the four Arizona provisions that were challenged. And even
as to the fourth, the 'papers please' provision, the court upheld that
now, but said, 'We're going to watch that carefully and if it is
implemented in a discriminatory manner, we may strike that down, too.'
So other states that have passed similar laws are going to be on notice
as well that they are going to have to be careful in terms of what kinds
of immigration provisions will pass constitutional muster," Yale-Loehr
The National Council of La Raza, the largest Hispanic advocacy
organization in the United States, expressed concern that the upholding
of the "stop and check" provision will "open the floodgates to the
harassment, abuse, and intimidation" of Hispanics.
a written statement, presumed Republican presidential candidate and
former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney reiterated his support for the
Arizona law and asserted that President Obama has failed to provide any
leadership on immigration. Speaking to donors in Arizona, Romney said he
would have preferred that the Supreme Court "give more latitude to the
Romney has criticized President Obama's executive order issued earlier
this month blocking the deportations of thousands of young illegal
aliens. Public opinion surveys show Obama's decision was highly popular
among Hispanics, and with voters in general.
Obama, a Democrat, blames Republicans in Congress for blocking progress
on achieving comprehensive immigration reform. In his statement Monday,
the president renewed his call for Congress to work with him on