STATEMENT: CAP’s Angela Kelley on Department of Justice Lawsuit against Arizona’s Immigration Law
Statement by Angela M. Kelley, Vice President of Immigration Policy and Advocacy, on the U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit against Arizona’s immigration law, S.B. 1070:
"The Department of Justice took a strong stand today against the “Show Your Papers” Arizona immigration law by filing a lawsuit challenging this radical law. The DOJ is reasserting control over immigration policy at the national level with this lawsuit, and the national level is where immigration policy belongs. States can’t make up their own immigration laws any more than they can print their own money or enter into treaties with foreign countries.
A policy authorizing local cops to check anyone’s immigration status might have initial appeal, but law enforcement voices have in fact cried out against their assuming such authority. The Arizona Police Chiefs Association and others around the country have argued that it is impossible to know who is "legal" by appearances alone. So measures like Arizona’s will almost inevitably lead to counterproductive racial and ethnic profiling.
Still, Arizonans’ anger with the broken immigration system is understandable. Lawmakers have talked big but delivered little on the issue for too long. For instance, the Senate failed to pass an immigration measure three years ago that would have gone a long way toward solving fundamental problems with existing policies and programs. The difficulties with our dysfunctional system have festered in the meantime, and local communities must bear the brunt of lawmakers’ inaction.
Lawmakers should enact good policies through comprehensive immigration reforms that are good for Arizona and the entire nation, and they should stop playing bad politics."
Listen to Tuesday’s press call here.