Supreme Court Rejects Part of Arizona Immigration Law
The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Arizona's immigration law was met with mixed reactions in Nevada, underscoring that the politically charged issue will remain a key campaign issue heading into the November election.
While Democrats mostly hailed Monday's ruling striking down three components of the law, they focused concern over one provision left intact that requires police to check the status of someone they suspect is not in the United States legally.
Democratic Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid and others say that could lead to system of racial profiling.
Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, who has supported Arizona's right to enact the law, says the decision points out the need for comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level.
Meanwhile, Arizona officials are declaring victory after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld part of the state's immigration law, but immigrant rights groups are promising more legal challenges.
While throwing out a number of key provisions, the high court left in place the provision that requires police to check the immigration status of suspects stopped for other violations.
Gov. Jan Brewer says states have a responsibility to defend their residents, and in her eyes the case was about Arizona's support for the rule of law. Brewer says that includes laws against both illegal immigration and racial profiling. She promises that police will be "held accountable" if the law is used in a way that "violates an individual's civil rights."
But immigration rights groups are expressing disappointment with the decision. The National Immigration Law Center says the "show me your papers" provision will lead to "racial profiling" and "prolonged detentions." The group also notes that the Supreme Court opinion invites more challenges.
President Barack Obama says he is pleased the Supreme Court decision.
The court allowed a provision requiring police to check the immigration status of someone they stop for another reason and suspect is in the country illegally.
Said Obama: "No American should ever live under a cloud of suspicion just because of what they look like." He said police in Arizona should not enforce the provision in a way that undermines civil rights.
The court struck down other provisions of Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigrants, including requiring all immigrants to carry registration papers with them.
Obama said the ruling makes clear that Congress should work with him on a comprehensive fix to illegal immigration.
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney says he would have preferred that the Supreme Court "give more latitude to the states" in its ruling that effectively took the teeth out of Arizona's tough immigration enforcement law.
The likely Republican presidential nominee told donors Monday in Scottsdale, Ariz., that the law has "become a muddle." Romney says he would have preferred that states have more options to enforce their own immigration laws. (AP)