Obama offers mixed verdict on immigration ruling
ABOVE PHOTO: Community member Leticia Ramirez, left, Puente Movement Director Carlos Garcia, standing, Community member Jovana Renteria, seated third left, and Puente Movement Communication Director B. Loewe, second right, watch the United States Supreme Court decesion regarding Arizona's controversial immigartion law, SB1070, come down at the Puente Movement offices, Monday, June 25, 2012, in Phoenix.
(AP Photo/Matt York)
WASHINGTON — Pressing his immigration agenda, President Barack Obama said he is pleased the Supreme Court struck down key parts of Arizona's immigration law Monday but voiced concern about what the high court left intact.
The court allowed a provision requiring police to check the immigration status of someone they stop for another reason and who they 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's decision comes days after the Obama administration issued a directive that protects from deportation hundreds of thousands of younger immigrants who came illegally to the United States as children. Obama on Monday used the court's decision to push for congressional action on a broader overhaul of immigration laws and to reaffirm his move to target deportations to criminals.
"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," he said in a statement before leaving on a two-day campaign and fundraising trip.
The decision keeps the issue of immigration as a high profile issue and gives Obama yet another opening to boost his standing with Hispanic voters for whom immigration is an important issue. Obama won two-thirds of the Latino vote in 2008 and has a large lead over rival Mitt Romney among that voting bloc in recent polls.
Obama pledged in 2008 to push for passage of comprehensive changes in immigration laws, but the effort stalled in Congress and Obama turned his attention to addressing the economy and pressed ahead with passing an overhaul of health care laws, which consumed much of 2010.
Romney on Monday blamed Obama for lack of action on immigration. He also said states have the right to secure their borders, "particularly when the federal government has failed to meet its responsibilities."
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that efforts to deal with immigration have been hindered by "a retreat" among Republicans who had once advocated changes. He noted that Romney had embraced the Arizona law as a model for the country during the Republican primaries — a position, Carney said, "that hardly suggests a desire for comprehensive bipartisan immigration reform."
The Supreme Court on Monday struck down other provisions of Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigrants, including requiring all immigrants to carry registration papers with them.
"A patchwork of state laws is not a solution to our broken immigration system — it's part of the problem," Obama said.
That echoed what Obama said in April 2010 when Arizona passed its law. "If we continue to fail to act at a federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country," Obama warned at the time.
+ Top Story
With the holiday season in full swing, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), joined by a local worker and advocates, will call for an increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour for over 700,000 Pennsylvania workers.
Wayne County, Mich., prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged Theodore Paul Wafer with second-degree murder in the death of Renisha McBride, a 19 year-old Detroit woman, who sought help following an automobile accident in Dearborn Heights, Mich.
Alabama’s parole board approved of granting posthumous pardons in the infamous “Scottsboro Boys” rape case on Thursday morning. The board made the decision during a hearing in Montgomery for three black men whose convictions were never overturned in a case that came to symbolize racial injustice...
Cleveland Cox, 49, and Lisa Cox, 52, are charged with nonsupport of dependents. Authorities allege the Middletown couple left boy with children’s services after saying he was displaying aggressive behavior and earlier threatened the family with a knife. Trial is scheduled for Feb. 10.
Another milestone is passing in America’s racial journey: The next mayor of New York City is a white man with a black wife. Even in a nation with a biracial president, where interracial marriage is more accepted and common than ever, Bill de Blasio’s marriage to Chirlane McCray is remarkable...
Common Pleas Judge Lawrence O’Toole has appointed former retired U.S. District Bankruptcy Judge Judith K. Fitzgerald to manage the financially troubled August Wilson Center for African American Culture. As conservator, Fitzgerald will oversee the center’s operation and...
The NAACP announced the members of its search committee for the Association’s new president and CEO last week. The members are a distinguished group of leaders from a variety of fields. The committee includes both members of the national board and key stakeholders.
Typhoon-ravaged Philippine islands faced a daunting relief effort that had barely begun Monday, as bloated bodies lay uncollected and uncounted in the streets and survivors pleaded for food, water and medicine.