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Jun 25, 2012 1:25 PM

Reactions to Supreme Court's SB1070 ruling

TUCSON - Below you can find various statements reacting to the SB1070 ruling from Arizona leaders, political figures and organizations. This story will be updated throughout the day.

Governor Jan Brewer:

"Today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is a victory for the rule of law. It is also a victory for the 10th Amendment and all Americans who believe in the inherent right and responsibility of states to defend their citizens. After more than two years of legal challenges, the heart of SB 1070 can now be implemented in accordance with the U.S. Constitution.

"While we are grateful for this legal victory, today is an opportunity to reflect on our journey and focus upon the true task ahead: the implementation and enforcement of this law in an even-handed manner that lives up to our highest ideals as American citizens. I know the State of Arizona and its law enforcement officers are up to the task. The case for SB 1070 has always been about our support for the rule of law. That means every law, including those against both illegal immigration and racial profiling. Law enforcement will be held accountable should this statute be misused in a fashion that violates an individual's civil rights.

"The last two years have been spent in preparation for this ruling. Upon signing SB 1070 in 2010, I issued an Executive Order directing the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (AZ POST) to develop and provide training to ensure our officers are prepared to enforce this law efficiently, effectively and in a manner consistent with the Constitution. In recent days, in anticipation of this decision, I issued a new Executive Order asking that this training be made available once again to all of Arizona's law enforcement officers. I am confident our officers are prepared to carry out this law responsibly and lawfully. Nothing less is acceptable.

"Of course, today's ruling does not mark the end of our journey. It can be expected that legal challenges to SB 1070 and the State of Arizona will continue. Our critics are already preparing new litigation tactics in response to their loss at the Supreme Court, and undoubtedly will allege inequities in the implementation of the law. As I said two years ago on the day I signed SB 1070 into law, ‘We cannot give them that chance. We must use this new tool wisely, and fight for our safety with the honor Arizona deserves.'"

Senators John McCain and 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. The Arizona law was born out of the state's frustration with the burdens that illegal immigration and continued drug smuggling impose on its schools, hospitals, criminal justice system and fragile desert environment, and an administration that chooses to set enforcement policies based on a political agenda, not the laws as written by Congress. We will continue our efforts on behalf of the citizens of Arizona to secure our southern border. 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."

President Barack Obama:

"I am pleased that the Supreme Court has struck down key provisions of Arizona's immigration law. 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.

Furthermore, we will continue to enforce our immigration laws by focusing on our most important priorities like border security and criminals who endanger our communities, and not, for example, students who earn their education - which is why the Department of Homeland Security announced earlier this month that it will lift the shadow of deportation from young people who were brought to the United States as children through no fault of their own.

I will work with anyone in Congress who's willing to make progress on comprehensive immigration reform that addresses our economic needs and security needs, and upholds our tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. And in the meantime, we will continue to use every federal resource to protect the safety and civil rights of all Americans, and treat all our people with dignity and respect.

"We can solve these challenges not in spite of our most cherished values - but because of them. What makes us American is not a question of what we look like or what our names are. What makes us American is our shared belief in the enduring promise of this country - and our shared responsibility to leave it more generous and more hopeful than we found it."

Gov. Mitt Romney:

"Today's decision underscores the need for a President who will lead on this critical issue and work in a bipartisan fashion to pursue a national immigration strategy. President Obama has failed to provide any leadership on immigration. This represents yet another broken promise by this President. I believe that each state has the duty--and the right--to secure our borders and preserve the rule of law, particularly when the federal government has failed to meet its responsibilities. As Candidate Obama, he promised to present an immigration plan during his first year in office. But 4 years later, we are still waiting."

Arizona Democratic Party:

"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.

"The Arizona Democratic Party opposed SB 1070 in 2010. The Arizona Democratic Party opposes SB 1070 now. This law does nothing to protect or strengthen Arizona.

"There was a time when Senator John McCain and Congressman Jeff Flake led the United States on immigration reform. Now, Governor Jan Brewer, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and others in the Arizona Republican Party lead us to nothing. Mitt Romney even mistakenly called SB 1070 a "model" for the nation.

"This law is simply a tool of divisive voices for political gain, one that damages our state's credibility and economy. As a result, Arizona families have paid the price with $23 million in lost tax revenue and at least $350 million lost in direct spending by convention-goers. SB 1070 has failed Arizona.

"Today's decision is a call to action. It reminds us of the rash and irresponsible overreach of the Republican Legislature. It also signals that now is the time to elect leaders who will get our state back on track. Arizona families deserve better politicians who respect law enforcement, work to create jobs and enact laws that will protect the individual rights of all citizens.

"The Supreme Court has said section 2B of SB 1070 is constitutional. That does not make it right."

Congressman David Schweikert (R-AZ):

"I am heartened that the Supreme Court affirmed the heart of SB 1070, Section 2(B).

"The federal government has failed my state with its inability to properly enforce immigration law. Now Arizona, with the core of SB 1070, can implement what Washington has failed to do so many times.

"This is a victory for Arizona and our state's right to defend our citizens and protect our borders."

Pima County Supervisor Richard Elias:

"This ruling reflects what we've always known: federal law supersedes state law. The only people who lost civil liberties and civil rights today are U.S. citizens.

While our community can find victory in most of today's decisions, upholding Section 2(B) burdens law enforcement at time when public resources are already limited. The notion of finding someone 'reasonably suspicious' adds a new dimension to existing search and seizure laws.

Ultimately, I believe the court will review this matter again and find it unconstitutional. Republicans are now weaker in their effort to dismantle communities of color, especially with their presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, calling S.B. 1070 a 'model' for other states to use."

Rep. Andy Tobin (R), Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives:

"As Arizona has been at the forefront of combating illegal immigration and other border crime, we have always hoped to have a willing law enforcement partner in the federal government. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration has chosen to selectively enforce the law and aggressively subvert the state of Arizona as we strove to fill the enforcement gaps."

"The Supreme Court upheld the key component of the legislation, provision 2B, which enables law enforcement to inquire as to the immigration status of suspects already being questioned.

"It is unfortunate the Obama Administration is not interested in enforcing the law and attempted, through Attorney General Holder, to prevent SB 1070 from being implemented. SB 1070 would not have been necessary had the administration been willing to support Arizona with appropriate enforcement strategies."

Maricopa County Sheriff candidate Paul Penzone:

"The Supreme Court sent a very strong message today - Law enforcement must be politically neutral. It must be impartial. And it must empower officers by giving them the autonomy to make sound decisions that enhance public safety.

"As sheriff, I will uphold the laws of our state and county. And most importantly, I will encourage lawmakers to engage the law enforcement community prior to drafting politically-charged legislation that ultimately costs taxpayers millions of dollars to defend.

"Senate Bill 1070 was drafted in a legislative vacuum, without the input of the law enforcement leaders of our community. Now, it is an expensive reminder that there's no room for a political agenda in justice."

Vic Williams (R), Representative at Arizona State Legislature:

"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."

Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ):

"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. The court's decision reaffirmed that SB 1070 and its many imitators are not an acceptable substitute for a federal immigration standard.

"The rationale for states to invent their own laws as they see fit has been wiped away. Now it's time for Congress to listen to what the Court said in its ruling. It's our job to fix this. No one else has the authority, and no one else has the responsibility. Anyone who wants to keep the system broken and wait for states to make things uglier one at a time lost a big battle today.

"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. This is not the end of our efforts to uphold equal and legal treatment for the American people.

"Despite the state's 30 percent Latino population, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has made a career of widespread racial profiling and discrimination. If his recent statements are any indication, he is unrepentant. That's why it was so significant today that the Department of Homeland Security announced it has terminated its 287(g) ‘task force' agreements with Arizona's law enforcement agencies. DHS officials have been directed not to respond to law enforcement activity unless the suspect meets federal enforcement priority guidelines, such as already being a convicted criminal or having reentered the country after a lawful removal. These steps mean that Arizonans will be protected from discriminatory or targeted enforcement actions by Arpaio and any other law enforcement agent tempted to ignore federal guidelines.

"This is in keeping with frequent requests by Members of Congress and civil rights organizations concerned about the long history of civil rights violations in parts of Arizona. The federal government has made the right decision and deserves our thanks. Now Congress must find a responsible solution to immigration reform that promotes respect for the law, keeps law enforcement focused on criminal behavior, and benefits all Americans. Opponents of bipartisan reform have truly run out of excuses. The rest of us stand ready to finish the job."

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