News / USA

Supreme Court Immigration Ruling to Frame US Political Debate

An artist rendering shows Supreme Court Justices from left, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel A. Alito, and Elena Kagan inside Supreme Court in WashinAn artist rendering shows Supreme Court Justices from left, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel A. Alito, and Elena Kagan inside Supreme Court in Washin
x
An artist rendering shows Supreme Court Justices from left, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel A. Alito, and Elena Kagan inside Supreme Court in Washin
An artist rendering shows Supreme Court Justices from left, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel A. Alito, and Elena Kagan inside Supreme Court in Washin
WASHINGTON - Monday’s decision by the Supreme Court of the United States striking down most of Arizona’s controversial immigration law virtually ensures that immigration will be a major issue in this year's presidential campaign.  

Most of the Arizona law targeting illegal immigrants was struck down, including a provision that allowed police to arrest suspected illegal aliens in the state without warrants.

But the Supreme Court allowed the most controversial aspect of the law to stand.  That provision requires local police to check the immigration status of people stopped for other reasons, if they have a reasonable suspicion the person is in the United States illegally.  Critics say this part of the law can lead to racial profiling.

Many immigration activists see the high court’s ruling as a victory with a likely impact on November's presidential election.

“The Supreme Court had their say today.  On November the 6th, Latinos will have the final word," said Eliseo Medina, who is with the Service Employees International Union in Washington D.C.  "We will in fact say this law is wrong.  It will be overturned by the power of our votes.”

In the wake of the ruling, President Barack Obama issued a statement calling on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.  His expected Republican opponent in November, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, issued a statement accusing the president of failing to lead on immigration.

Both sides of the debate took something from the high court's ruling, and analysts say that could energize activists across the political spectrum ahead of the election.

But University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato says critics of the Arizona law have more to celebrate than supporters.

“You’ve got both sides celebrating something," he said.  "But as you look at the decision, the Supreme Court has upheld the federal government’s position to a much greater degree than Arizona’s position.”

Quinnipiac University pollster Peter Brown says the high court's decision will have short- and long-term implications.

“What the Supreme Court ruling on immigration does is keep the issue front and center in the political debate," he said.  "And in the long-term, it means that it is likely that a large number or many state legislatures will take up similar statutes, at least the parts that have been approved by the Supreme Court.”

Five others states have enacted laws similar to the Arizona statute and were awaiting the Supreme Court's ruling.

The Arizona law came before the high court after a lower court challenge by the Obama administration.  Analyst Sabato says that should help the president with Hispanic voters in November.

“This was a case that Hispanics and Latinos were paying particularly close attention to, and this is literally the one segment of the electorate where President Obama is doing as well or better than he did four years ago," he said.  "So it’s the kind of decision that has implications for the fall vote.”

Given the nation's weak economy, analyst Charlie Cook says the president will need to match his strong support among Hispanic voters this year, if he is to win a second term.

“The president got 67 percent of Latinos in the last election," he said.  "And in some Gallup polling I’ve seen recently he has that same 67 percent, if they vote.  But there are some very strong warning signals in the polling that while if they show up and vote they are very heavily likely to vote for President Obama, there is a lack of enthusiasm about this election and they may not show up.”

Experts say the president might have also helped his chances with Hispanic voters recently when he ordered an end to the deportations of hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants who were brought into the country by their parents.

You May Like

US Storm Falls Short of Severe Predictions, Yet Affects Millions

Governors of several East Coast states close schools, order travel bans, urge people to stay home as snowfall, heavy winds, flooding continue in areas More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle with Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people were displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid