Supreme Court overturns Ariz. immigration laws, except one
CYRIL JOSH BARKER Amsterdam News Staff | 6/28/2012, 1:54 p.m.
Bypassing a law by the state of Arizona, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down most of the provisions in the controversial immigration law SB 1070. However, while most of the law is going to be eliminated, Arizona law enforcement can still check the immigration status of suspected illegals.
"I am pleased that the Supreme Court has struck down the key provisions of Arizona's immigration law," President Barack Obama said in a statement Monday. "No American should ever live under a cloud of suspicion just because of what they look like."
However, questions are being raised about the piece of legislation that is still intact that allows law enforcement officials to check for immigration status solely on suspicion. Critics say that the Supreme Court is sending mixed messages to Arizona, which has been a hotbed for controversy when it comes to immigration policy.
"Claims by the Obama administration that Arizona's immigration enforcement effort would lead to 'racial profiling' are specious," said Horace Cooper, adjunct fellow at the National Center. "It is telling that the provisions that the White House demagogued, most went unchallenged even by Obama appointees to the Supreme Court."
NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said that the ruling does not solve the problem completely and encourages discriminatory practices.
"Make no mistake, the notion that states may racially profile, harass and detain approximately 11 million hardworking undocumented immigrants and others that simply meet the physical profile is founded on a profoundly backward interpretation of equality and civil rights," Jealous said.
"In Arizona, the NAACP and other civil rights groups will continue to work arm in arm with immigrants' rights, labor, religious and community groups to respond to this outrageous outcome and make sure that similar racial profiling measures do not prevail in other states."