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

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid