News / USA

US Democratic Lawmakers Welcome Ruling Blocking Parts of Arizona Immigration Law

Cindy Saine

Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other Democratic lawmakers held a news conference on Thursday to welcome this week's federal court ruling blocking the most controversial parts of Arizona's new immigration law.  More than 100 Democratic lawmakers are sponsoring a comprehensive immigration reform bill, but no Republicans have joined them.

Democratic Representative Luis Gutierrez of Illinois told reporters that he is delighted with the ruling blocking parts of the new Arizona immigration law, which went into effect on Thursday.  

Gutierrez said he agrees with the Obama administration that immigration is a federal and not a state issue.

"The Constitution of the United States clearly mandates the federal government's responsibility when it comes to the implementation of immigration policy," said Luis Gutierrez.

Congressman Gutierrez had this rebuke to many Republican leaders and activists of the grassroots Tea Party movement who have voiced support for the tough Arizona law, citing America's Founding Fathers who wrote the U.S. Constitution.

"For those who speak frequently about the Founding Fathers, you know, the Constitution is not the menu that you can pick at lunch or dinner, and decide what it is you are going to approve of," he said. "The Constitution is the Constitution, and it was upheld yesterday [Wednesday, 7/28/10]."

U.S. Judge Susan Bolton issued a temporary injunction against parts of the law on Wednesday, including a measure that requires police to check the immigration status of any person they stop for a violation and whom they suspect might be in the country illegally.  Opponents of the law say that would be discriminatory because it would encourage police to stop and question anyone who looks Hispanic - the ethnic group that makes up the largest percentage of illegal immigrants in the United States.

The Obama administration filed a lawsuit against the state of Arizona to keep the law from being enforced, arguing that under the U.S. Constitution, immigration is a responsibility of the national government.

Arizona's Republican Governor Jan Brewer vows to appeal the court's injunction, saying that she will take the fight all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.  Brewer and other Arizona officials say the influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico has led to an increase in crime in the state.

On the floor of the House of Representatives, Republican Lamar Smith of Texas criticized the Obama administration for failing to secure the U.S. border with Mexico, and the news media for bias on the immigration issue.

"The ruling will be seen by Arizonans and the vast majority of Americans who support the law as just another example of this administration's failure to deal with illegal immigration and border security," said Lamar Smith. "Like the administration, the national media have shown a clear bias against the Arizona law."

The Chairwoman of the Hispanic Congressional Caucus, Democrat Nydia Velazquez of New York, pointed out that 100 Democratic House members are co-sponsoring a comprehensive immigration reform bill and that no Republicans have endorsed the measure.

"So we urge Republicans to stop playing politics and start supporting a true comprehensive immigration reform bill," said Nydia Velazquez. "The American people want real solutions."

Most Republican leaders object to parts of the legislation that provide a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

Some Republican lawmakers accuse Democrats of playing politics, saying they are supporting the immigration reform legislation to win Hispanic voters.

With congressional elections in November, analysts say it is unlikely that Congress will take up the controversial issue of immigration reform any time soon.   

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More