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What they're saying about SB 1070
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What they're saying about SB 1070

Politicians and activists react to the Supreme Court's decision on SB 1070:

President Barack Obama

"What this decision makes unmistakably clear is that Congress must act on comprehensive immigration reform. A patchwork of state laws is not a solution to our broken immigration system – it's part of the problem.

At the same time, I remain concerned about the practical impact of the remaining provision of the Arizona law that requires local law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of anyone they even suspect to be here illegally. I agree with the Court that individuals cannot be detained solely to verify their immigration status. No American should ever live under a cloud of suspicion just because of what they look like. Going forward, we must ensure that Arizona law enforcement officials do not enforce this law in a manner that undermines the civil rights of Americans, as the Court's decision recognizes.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer

"Today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is a victory for the rule of law. ... After more than two years of legal challenges, the heart of SB 1070 can now be implemented in accordance with the U.S. Constitution."

A later Brewer statement: "As though we needed any more evidence, President Obama has demonstrated anew his utter disregard for the safety and security of the Arizona people. Within the last two hours, I have been notified the Obama administration has revoked the 287(g) agreement under the authority of which Arizona law enforcement officers have partnered with the federal government in the enforcement of immigration law."

U.S. Sens. John McCain & Jon Kyl

"While we still want to fully review the Supreme Court's decision, today's ruling appears to validate a key component of Arizona's immigration law, SB 1070. ... We believe Arizonans are better served when state and federal officials work as partners to protect our citizens rather than as litigants in a courtroom."

U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva

Today's Supreme Court ruling largely struck down a law we have always recognized as an extremist attempt to undermine our core values and our Constitution. ... Unfortunately, the Court made a grave error in upholding the discriminatory 'show me your papers' provision that violates basic rights and denies equal justice. This is the most poisonous part of the law, and its legality will rightly be challenged on equal protection grounds in the courts.

U.S. Rep. Ron Barber

"Today’s court decision leaves open the essential question of how we make sure that all Americans enjoy the protections against discriminatory treatment that are guaranteed by our Constitution and it also still fails to offer any remedy for securing our border."

State Rep. Steve Farley (District 28)

"Arizonans expect and deserve reasonable immigration reform. SB 1070 is a far cry from reasonable. It lets politicians get away with political grandstanding instead of enacting real reform. We need substantive reform and we need to ensure our police officers have the tools they need to crack down on true criminals and keep our communities safe and secure. I commend the Supreme Court for striking down key parts of this law and forcing politicians to focus on real reform."

State House Minority Leader Chad Campbell

"The Supreme Court ruling on SB 1070 is not surprising. What we need is comprehensive immigration reform and border security so we can solve this issue for the long-term, not more divisive legislation and bickering."

State Rep. Matt Heinz, CD2 House candidate

"Thankfully, this decision prevents states from creating their own immigration policies in violation of the constitution while recognizing the need for cooperation between state and federal authorities in the enforcement of existing, constitutionally sound laws. Unfortunately, a portion of the law remains which continues to threaten the rights and liberties of our citizens and legal residents."

State Rep. Vic Williams

"As a member of the Arizona State Legislature I am very pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the main component of SB1070, allowing for local police to enforce immigration law. This is a victory for the people of Arizona and our entire nation.

"Arizonians have fought tirelessly to contend with illegal immigration issues since our federal government has failed to do so in any meaningful manner. My office will release a full statement once we have had the opportunity to fully review the Supreme Court’s ruling."

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild

"Today the Supreme Court struck down significant parts of SB 1070.

"I remain concerned with the provision the Supreme Court upheld, at least for the time being - the provision that requires local law enforcement to verify citizenship if they suspect a person is in the country illegally.

"I’m concerned because the court left this provision in play, even while it acknowledged that enforcement could violate people’s constitutional rights.

"In enforcing this law, and in enforcing any law, we will be very careful not to violate people’s civil rights."

Tucson City Councilwoman Regina Romero

"The Supreme Court has upheld the ‘papers, please’ provision of SB1070, allowing police officers to act as de facto immigration enforcement agents. This law institutionalizes racism and legitimizes racial profiling. There are no two ways about it."

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu

"I agree with Justice Scailia when he stated, 'Arizona bears the brunt of the country's illegal immigration problem.' Federal officials have been unable to remedy the problem, and indeed have recently shown that they are unwilling to do so.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano

"I am pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that state laws cannot dictate the federal government's immigration enforcement policies or priorities.

"Today's Supreme Court decision will not impact the memorandum I issued on June 15th related to prosecutorial discretion eligibility for productive members of society who were brought to the United States as children."

Democratic Senate candidate Richard Carmona

"Today's ruling does not help us secure the border, and it does not provide a solution for the 400,000 undocumented people living in Arizona.

"As a deputy sheriff of a border county, I've witnessed first hand the human cost of not having a workable solution. I've seen the results of the violence and drugs, and I know the terrible toll that has taken on our community. But SB 1070 doesn't help local law enforcement fix the problem. It's a distraction that hinders our ability to build trust with the communities we serve."

Democratic congressional candidate Wenona Benally Baldenegro

"In striking down key provisions of SB1070, the U.S. Supreme Court sent a clear message to Arizona that immigration remains within the exclusive power of the federal government to regulate. While three out of four provisions of the law are no longer enforceable, the Justices endorsed the 'show me your papers' provision -- the crux of the law that leaves open the door to potential racial profiling and pretextual stops. Allowing a confusing patchwork of state laws to remain on the books is not the solution to immigration reform. We must monitor Arizona's exercise of this provision while, at the same time, pursuing challenges to eliminate it."

Democratic congressional candidate Ann Kirkpatrick

"Today's Supreme Court ruling is a reminder that this law hasn't solved anything. What we need is a federal immigration strategy that secures our borders while offering fair and sensible reforms."

Luis Heredia, Arizona Democratic Party executive director

"The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled section 2B of SB 1070 to be constitutional. That does not make it just or moral. Other parts were ruled unconstitutional as further evidence why this law is flawed."

Jeff Rogers, Pima County Democratic Party chairman

"We are pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Sections 3, 5 and 6(C) of SB 1070 are unconstitutional attempts by the State of Arizona to infringe upon federal immigration powers. This is a partial victory for the citizens of Arizona. The ruling confirms that the Arizona Legislature went too far.

"Unfortunately the Court ruled that section 2(B) of SB 1070 (the “papers please” part of the law) might be constitutional ... Arizonans, and particularly those of Hispanic descent, will now be subject to potential harassment and detention while this law works its way through the courts once again.

Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF: Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund

"The Supreme Court decision in Arizona v. United States today strikes down three sections of SB 1070 and opens the fourth section before the Court – section 2(B) -- to further constitutional challenges and to further limiting interpretation. This outcome is a resounding victory for the Constitution as the Court majority affirms longstanding law on the breadth of exclusive federal authority in the area of immigration regulation. While the Court failed to appreciate the serious harms that come from allowing any implementation of section 2(B), which will necessarily lead to unconstitutional racial profiling, it has laid out a very difficult path for Arizona in trying to implement this provision."

Regina Jefferies, American Immigration Lawyers Association

"We welcome the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the vast majority of SB 1070 as preempted by federal law. The decision reinforces the long-standing principle that immigration law and policy is an area strictly reserved for the federal government. However, the Court's decision to allow Section 2(b) of SB1070, the provision requiring police officers to ask for the immigration status of individuals they stop, will leave the fate of families who came to this country to create a better life for themselves and their children hanging in the balance. Many feel they have no other choice to survive, that they have to live here, in the shadows, work, pay taxes, contribute to our economy and provide for their children. It is a simple fact: they will stay.

"Arizona AILA has every expectation that law enforcement will follow the law and treat everyone, regardless of race or nationality, with dignity and respect. But we'll also serve as watchdogs to make sure that happens, and provide representation to those who need it, to make sure everyone is treated fairly. The U.S. Supreme Court's decision today allowing the "papers please" provision of SB 1070 to go into effect doesn't make it smart policy, not for our economy, not for diversity and not for human rights."

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton

"Today's Supreme Court decision that much of SB 1070 is unconstitutional is a stark reminder of the need for Congress to act immediately on comprehensive immigration reform. It also reminds us that our State Legislature should stop focusing on divisive issues and instead spend their time on job creation and smart economic development for the State of Arizona."

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