PHOENIX - The Supreme Court struck down key provisions of Arizona's immigration law Monday, but said the part on checking a person's immigration status could go forward.
Controversy has surrounded SB 1070 since it was introduced by former Senator Russell Pearce in January 2010 and signed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer in April of that year. See a timeline of SB 1070.
Since Monday morning's ruling, reaction has started pouring in from around Arizona including the following statements:
Arizona 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.'"
President Barack Obama
Governor 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."
Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security
"I am pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that state laws cannot dictate the federal government's immigration enforcement policies or priorities. DHS remains focused on enhancing public safety and the integrity of our border by prioritizing enforcement resources on those who are in the country unlawfully and committing crimes, those who have repeatedly violated our immigration laws, and those who recently crossed our borders illegally. The Court's decision not to strike down Section Two at this time will make DHS' work more challenging. Accordingly, DHS will implement operational enhancements to its programs in Arizona to ensure that the agency can remain focused on its priorities. Over the past three and half years, this Administration has dedicated unprecedented resources to secure the border and to enforcing our nation's immigration laws in a firm and reasonable fashion. We continue to urge Congress to pass comprehensive reform because nothing short of a comprehensive solution will resolve the current patchwork of immigration laws. Finally, it is important to note that today's Supreme Court decision will not impact the memorandum I issued on June 15 th related to prosecutorial discretion eligibility for productive members of society who were brought to the United States as children."
The Arizona DREAM Act Coalition
The Arizona DREAM Act Coalition, an organization composed of immigrant youth and their allies, laments the Supreme Court decision which upheld section (2b) of the law that allows authorities to ask individuals their immigration status if there is a reasonable suspicion the individual is undocumented. We believe the section being upheld are conducive to racially profiling citizens, legal residents, and undocumented immigrants and therefore do not provide equal treatment under the law. We respectfully disagree about the constitutionality of the decision and we will continue to educate our community on how we can overcome the implementation of this section so the impact to the people in our state is minimized. We encourage the community to stand firm, to not panic, and to stay informed. ADAC will continue fighting these laws the best way our organization knows: 1.-We will continue to educate the community on the importance of knowing their rights, regardless of their status. Many times the cases of detained and deported immigrant youth are due to the lack of education on how to defend their rights when facing DHS and ICE procedures. Know Your Rights education and campaigns are essential to combat unjust laws. 2.-We will continue our efforts of civic engagement in Arizona to support politicians at all levels of government with reasonable solutions. We encourage the community to manifest their dissatisfaction to this ruling in the way it really counts; by registering to vote and voting for candidates who support the DREAM Act and immigrant rights. 3.-We will initiate a campaign to report cases of racially profiled citizens, legal residents, and undocumented individuals. We will expose the evidence of devastating effects to our community and the unconstitutionality of the application of unjust laws through the mass media, social media and any other means at our disposal. We will remain vigilant for extreme interpretations of the laws by entities (educational institutions, hospitals, etc.) other than law enforcement and DHS. 4.-The community can stay informed by subscribing to our text alert system by texting the word "ADAC" to 77948. We also encourage the community to report any police mistreatment to Respect Respeto hotline 1-855-737-8673 (1-855-RESPETO). 5.-We would like to remind the community that President Obama's announcement regarding deferred action for DREAMers greatly reduces the effects of SB1070's upheld clauses on immigrant youth. However, we as a people must continue fighting for immigrant rights, as our family members, friends, and community are still affected by this legislation. "We feel relieved that al least the Supreme court ruling will have less of an impact on immigrant youth than a week ago, said Dulce Matuz", president of the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition and one of the 100 most influential persons in the world by TIME magazine", but we are concerned for our mothers, fathers and older siblings who also contribute with their work and taxes to the economy in Arizona". "Although Immigrant youth are not subjects of deportation, we can still be racially profiled and detained by the implementation of SB1070", said Reyna Montoya, Vice-president of the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition. The Coalition is a member of United We DREAM (UWD) Network a national organization of DREAM Act activists, and allies. Recently the UWD collected more than 90 law professor's signatures around the country asserting the authority President Obama has to make administrative changes to immigration like the deferred action the announced on June the 15th.
U.S. Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain
"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."
Rep. Raúl M. 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. 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."
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.
My deputies protect all citizens and will enforce all laws. Our deputies have been properly trained in the law and once it is enacted they will begin to enforce it. Contrary to what Attorney General Eric Holder believes; law enforcement does not racially profile but rather they enforce laws in a fair and impartial manner. Law enforcement is entrusted to make life and death decisions certainly we can be trusted to make these decisions."
Arizona Democratic Party
Arizona Democratic Party Executive Director Luis Heredia issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court's ruling today on SB 1070:
"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."
For years, the federal government and the Obama Administration have been too schizophrenic and too lax on issues critical to Arizona: Securing our lawless border with Mexico and stopping a massive wave of illegal immigration. Today's unfortunate split decision on SB1070 opens the door to more of the same from Washington - more waffling, more inaction, more "back door amnesty."
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the requirement that Arizona police officers try to determine the immigration status of those stopped or arrested and suspected of being in the U.S. illegally. That common sense requirement is a victory for the rule of law, though more lawsuits surely will come soon. However, even this silver lining is undercut by the Court striking down the state's right to enact other key elements of SB1070, including making it a crime for illegal immigrants to work in Arizona.
The bottom line: What Arizona needs on illegal immigration is what the Obama Administration, Congress and the Supreme Court have never provided. We need clarity when it comes to immigration law, a muscular strategy to secure our border and strong, determined action. The federal government and our elected leaders have failed on all counts - and now the highest court in the land has forbidden Arizona from fully taking over where Washington has failed.
Isn't that just typical Washington? Where we desperately need solutions, they make complex problems even more complex, waffling while Arizonans wait for answers and action. That's sad and misguided, exactly like the Supreme Court's decision on SB 1070 today.
Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network
"The court's ruling in part confirms what we have said since the beginning: Arizona's war of attrition against immigrants is not only inhumane, it's also unconstitutional. However, upholding the racial profiling section poses a great risk to the constitution the court is charged to defend and to the Arizona families who will be targeted if it goes into effect.
We will prevent that from happening. The brave work of immigrants in Arizona and around the country will ensure that ultimately we're on the winning side of history. Arizona's racial profiling law pushes hard-working immigrants to the margins of society and makes a mockery of our nation's proud immigrant heritage. However, the tide is turning. We will continue to fight in Arizona, in court and on the streets, until SB 1070 is erased in its entirety and until civil rights are fully respected in Arizona.
America's proudest history is defined by moments when people deemed 'illegal' have fought for and won their emancipation, and today is no different. The very people Arizona seeks to incarcerate and expel will be the people who uphold America's most cherished constitutional values."
Congressman David Schweikert
"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."
Kirk Adams Speaker of the AZ House on 1070
As the Speaker of the Arizona House, Kirk Adams helped guide SB 1070 through the legislature and defended it in numerous national news outlets after passage. Recently, Adams took part in a forum at the Heritage Foundation on SB 1070, and the state's role in immigration policy. Of today's ruling, Adams stated, "The Supreme Court's decision is a mixed one. Immigration will continue to be a primary responsibility of the federal government but, as this decision confirms, state and local law enforcement have an important role to play. I am hopeful that Congress and the president will work to secure our border and create a functioning legal system that reflects our values of free enterprise and opportunity for all."
U.S. Congressman Paul Gosar
"Today, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of Arizona's right to protect its citizens. In Congress, I have been a strong voice for holding this administration accountable for its failure to enforce existing laws. Arizona was forced to take up the fight to secure its borders because the federal government has repeatedly let down our state and its citizens. Our families and communities have suffered greatly because of the blind eye this administration has turned towards this dire situation. The consequences of our unsecure border and lax immigration enforcement include border violence, drug and gun smuggling and increased crime throughout our state. This is why I have always supported the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (S.B. 1070)," Gosar said.
Congressman Gosar continued, "The Obama Administration was wrong in its decision to sue our state and even more wrong to not enforce existing laws. Arizona has always been a leader in the fight for state's rights, and I am confident Arizona will continue this fight moving forward."
U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor
"In recognizing that federal immigration laws preempt SB 1070, the Supreme Court rightly found three of four harmful provisions unconstitutional, but I'm greatly disappointed that it erroneously upheld the discriminatory 'show me your papers' provision," Pastor said. "I'm fearful this troublesome provision will lead to discrimination and racial profiling in Arizona and throughout the country, and I remain supportive of related civil rights suits currently challenging SB 1070 as discriminatory, which was not considered in this most recent Supreme Court case. Further, I ask the U.S. Department of Justice to be aware of efforts to restrict the civil rights of citizens and immigrants alike and increase civil rights enforcement."
Arizona's SB 1070, Section 2(B), the "show me your papers" provision, requires local law enforcement to check the immigration status during any lawful stop, detention or arrest anytime law enforcement officials have "reasonable suspicion" that the individual is unlawfully present.
"Upholding Section 2(B) will result in the harassment of those here legally, including tourists, legal immigrants and even U.S. citizens and place significant burdens on federal agencies by diverting resources away from dangerous criminals and other high-priority individuals," Pastor also warned.
Speaker of the House Andy Tobin
Speaker Tobin stated, "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.
The Speaker continued, "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 Attorney Bill Montgomery
Earlier this month, the President played election year politics, pandering without offering a real solution to matters of great concern to Arizona and our Nation. Today, the Supreme Court upheld the rule of law. Tomorrow, Arizona law enforcement will continue to do their job on our behalf, respecting the civil rights of all and upholding our state and federal constitutions and real prosecutors will exercise true discretion without violating our oath to uphold the law.
SB1070 was the latest effort by Arizona to address the consequences arising from the failure of the federal government to enforce our laws regarding the proper manner and method for immigrants to come to America in pursuit of their hopes and dreams, as well as the failure to exercise the basic duties of a sovereign nation to control the entry and departure of persons across our borders. Our nation's history has been forged with the contributions of immigrants from around the world and she will continue to grow and prosper under a sensible and sane approach to immigration. Nevertheless, the consequences of ignoring our laws and permitting an environment in which the criminal impact of illegal immigration continues to affect the people of Arizona and of Maricopa County must be addressed and will be by local and state officials, even if the federal government officially turns a blind eye.
Alleged violations of provisions of SB1070, while referencing misdemeanor conduct, may be submitted to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office (" MCAO") in cases where allegations of felony offenses arise from the same investigation. Submittals requesting charges for conduct prescribed by SB 1070 will be reviewed for charging and prosecution by MCAO. Accordingly, as Maricopa County law enforcement officers and deputies carry out their duties and investigate alleged violations of prohibited activity per SB 1070, the following guidance is offered:
- Pursuant to A.R.S. § 11-1051.B., "[a] reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation." The Maricopa County Attorney interprets this provision to preclude inquiry into the immigration status of a victim of a crime or a witness to a crime as it would "hinder or obstruct the investigation." Accordingly, submittals for allegations of conduct prescribed by SB 1070 where the immigration status of a victim or a witness to a crime resulted from an investigation of the crime the person is a victim of or witness to will not be charged or prosecuted by the MCAO.
- Violations of A.R.S. § 13-2319 address instances of "smuggling human beings for profit or commercial purpose." Accordingly, circumstances in which transportation of persons present without lawful authority for religious services or healthcare where no profit or commercial purpose exists will not be charged or prosecuted by the MCAO.
- Violations of A.R.S. § 13-2929 and 28-3511 address circumstances in which a criminal offense has been committed and there is/are a person or persons present without lawful authority. Therefore, submittals where the only alleged criminal conduct is the immigration status of the subject in question will be furthered for identification of a necessary predicate criminal offense or turned down where no predicate criminal offense is identifiable.
With respect to the preceding guidance, or any other aspect of SB 1070 enforcement, it is important to note that the federal administration's pronouncement of exercising "prosecutorial" discretion" for those unlawfully present who entered the United States as juveniles, does not, in fact, create a lawful status for these individuals.
Anyone running for office owes the people an honest declaration of their opinion on controversial issues such as SB1070. I voted against SB1070 because, as I said at the time, it is "a misguided solution to a very real problem." The problem is that Congress has abdicated its responsibilities to improve border security and to fix our broken immigration system. Arizona has paid a steep price for these failures. Unfortunately, 1070 doesn't help solve either of those problems. It does not give law enforcement or prosecutors the tools to adequately address the issues of crime and violence, but instead increases the burden on local law enforcement. And much of it is unconstitutional. Even the conservative Roberts Court agrees. Congress should take immediate action and stop playing election year games with Arizona's future. We must ramp up border security, pass the DREAM Act, and move to reconsider the immigration solutions that were supported by Senators McCain, Kyl, and Kennedy