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

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora