News / USA

Obama Pleased, Concerned About Immigration Ruling

President Obama speaking Jun 25, 2012President Obama speaking Jun 25, 2012
x
President Obama speaking Jun 25, 2012
President Obama speaking Jun 25, 2012
WHITE HOUSE - 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 identification papers.

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 look like."  

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 said.

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.

In 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 states."

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 immigration reform.

You May Like

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid