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Vitter Legislation Would Have Blocked Ariz. Immigration Lawsuit Before it Reached Supreme Court

Press Release

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Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Sen. David Vitter made the following statement after the Supreme Court announced that it will consider arguments over Arizona's law allowing state and local police to play a role in enforcing federal immigration laws.

"Frankly, it's ridiculous that the Obama administration has refused to consistently enforce our existing immigration laws and secure our borders, even as they've fought tooth and nail to keep states like Arizona from doing their part to combat this ongoing problem," said Vitter. "I'm hopeful that the Supreme Court will reach a common-sense ruling after considering the facts. And as cases like this continue, I'm doing my part in Congress to stop the Obama administration's politically driven lawsuits by cutting off the ability for the administration to use taxpayers' money to pay for them."

Last month, Vitter introduced legislation with U.S. Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to prohibit the Obama administration, including the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other agencies, from participating in lawsuits against South Carolina, Alabama and Arizona over recently passed immigration laws.

Vitter last year also introduced an amendment that would have prevented the administration from suing with taxpayers' money to block the Arizona law.

The Arizona law, SB 1070, explicitly forbids racial profiling and grants state law enforcement officials the authority to enforce federal immigration laws by allowing them to inquire about the immigration status of individuals who are lawfully stopped for other crimes. This mirrors existing federal law and does not empower police officers with any new authority. Vitter's legislation last year would have prohibited President Obama's administration, including the Department of Justice and other agencies, from participating in lawsuits seeking to invalidate SB 1070.

Vitter serves as chairman of the U.S. Senate Border Security and Enforcement First Immigration Caucus.


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