Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (MD-4) today released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court's ruling in Arizona v. United States. In a 5-3 ruling, the Court rejected 3 of the 4 major provisions contained in the law, but upheld the provision known as the "check your papers" portion of the law. This controversial provision requires state and local police to check the immigration status of people they stop or detain if there is "reasonable suspicion" that they are illegal immigrants.
"I am encouraged by today's Supreme Court decision that struck down the majority of Arizona's immigration law as unconstitutional," said Congresswoman Edwards. "The Court's decision to uphold the "check your papers" provision places an important hurdle for law enforcement to avoid racial profiling. Indeed, the Court indicated that this portion of the law could face additional legal challenges once the implications of this policy are realized fully.
"The clearest lesson from today's ruling is that changes to our immigration system cannot be done in a patchwork approach with 20, 30, or 50 individual state laws. The only real solution to immigration reform is a comprehensive federal law. President Obama has taken administrative action; the Court has ruled on the Constitutional questions. Now, it's time for my Republican colleagues to stop standing in the way of common sense reforms that prioritize the interests of families and our economy."
The Supreme Court rejected the three provisions of the law that:
Make it a state crime for illegal immigrants not to have their federal registration cards;
Make it a crime for illegal immigrants to work, apply for work or solicit work, and;
Allow state and local police to arrest illegal immigrants without a warrant when probable cause exists that they committed "any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States.