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Congresswoman Jackson Lee Responds to the Supreme Court Decision on the Arizona Immigration Law


Location: Washington, DC

Today, the Supreme Court struck down much of the Arizona SB1070 "Show Me Your Papers' Law, but upheld section 2(B), the specific portion that requires local law enforcement to ask people for proof of immigration status if they "reasonably suspect' an individual to be in the country illegally. Gov. Mitt Romney has called Arizona's immigration laws a model for the nation. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a Senior Member of the House Judiciary Committee, responds to the Supreme Court decision on the Arizona Immigration Law:

"The Supreme Court dealt a blow to the anti-immigrant movement, but also dealt a blow to Latinos and immigrants living in the United States. This threatens the safety of all Americans and undermines the fundamental relationship between police and the communities they serve. The action that needs to be taken now in response to the Supreme Court decision regarding Arizona's misguided law is for Congress to now pass comprehensive immigration reform law. Major parts of the legislation that continue to clearly show over reach have been found unconstitutional; particularly when Arizona reached into federal government laws. The Supreme Court reaffirmed that today with their decision.

"The Court correctly struck down wrongheaded policies that would have pushed families, workers, and senior citizens into the criminal justice system. But the Court made an error in upholding the discriminatory "show me your papers' provision that violates people's basic rights. This provision of the law keeps the door open to blatant discrimination against American citizens, minorities, and immigrants. The Court has said this section needs additional review, and I am hopeful that it will be struck down in the future.

"There will always be a fight in the courts and legislatures to protect America's basic rights. The President and Attorney General fought hard against the Arizona law and deserve praise for their leadership. Much of this decision is a victory for our community. Now the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice and the White House have an even more important role in making sure federal immigration laws are not further undermined by and dictated by the states.

"Finally this case is not complete. If Arizona precedes under the narrow provisions remaining of the law I believe in short order the state will be subject to charges of racial profiling and just as Rosa Parks started the journey to the federal courts to declare unconstitutional segregated accommodations, I believe the final aspect of the Arizona law will be struck down on the grounds of due process and equal rights. It will only be a matter of time until we all see that the Arizona law is but a meager limping downsized measure of the original legislation and rightly so.

"The Supreme Court's ruling is a clear reminder of the urgent need to enact comprehensive immigration reform. Democrats have always been ready to work across the aisle and pass legislation without further delay. However, Republicans have chosen a confrontational course -- calling Arizona's law a "model' for reform; refusing to pass the DREAM Act; and standing in the way of bipartisan action to pass real reform. Moving forward, we must act to uphold our values by fighting for reform that secures our borders, upholds the rule of law, protects our workers, unites families, and provides a pathway to legalization."

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