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Smith on Arizona Supreme Court Ruling


Location: Washington, DC

The U.S. Supreme Court today upheld one of the four provisions challenged in the Arizona's immigration law (S.B. 1070). Specifically, the Court ruled that Arizona's local law enforcement can ask for proof of residency if they have reasonable suspicion the person is an illegal immigrant. Unfortunately, the Court overturned provisions of the Arizona law that allowed state law enforcement officials to help address illegal immigration in the absence of federal action. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) expressed disappointment over the decision that leaves the majority of immigration enforcement in the hands of an Administration that believes in open borders.

Chairman Smith: "I am disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision today, which limits the ability of states to protect their citizens and communities from illegal immigrants. It is the federal government's job to enforce our immigration laws, but President Obama has willfully neglected this responsibility. This dereliction of duty has left states to address the crime, job loss, and other costs of illegal immigration.

"Unfortunately, under this Administration, today's ruling essentially puts an end to immigration enforcement since the states no longer can step in and fill the void created by the Obama administration. This is especially bad news for border states since they have to deal with border violence, drug trafficking and illegal immigration.

"Throughout the past three years, President Obama and his administration have ignored our immigration laws and have encouraged more illegal immigration by their actions. President Obama has abused his executive branch authority to allow potentially millions of illegal immigrants to live and work in the U.S. And under this Administration, worksite enforcement has plummeted 70%, allowing illegal immigrants to hold jobs while 13 million Americans are looking for work.

"According to a recent poll, two-thirds of the American people want to see our laws enforced. But President Obama puts illegal immigrants and his partisan agenda ahead of the interests of the American people. If our immigration laws are going to be enforced, we need a new President this January who will enforce immigration laws, not deliberately ignore them."

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