NHLA Press Releases

NHLA Commends the Supreme Court for Invalidating Majority of SB 1070

WASHINGTON, DC –The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), a coalition of the 30 leading Hispanic organizations in the United States, commends the Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate three of the four sections of SB 1070. Today, the Supreme Court released its long-awaited decision in Arizona v. United States, which involved the constitutionality of SB 1070, Arizona’s immigration law. The Court invalidated the majority of the law but left place the “show me your papers” provision.

Hector Sanchez, Chair of the NHLA stated – “The Supreme Court’s decision is a resounding cry that States are not free to undermine federal law in their quest to target, arrest and harass immigrants. The decision reinforced the notion that it is the federal government’s responsibility to promulgate immigration laws, and that a patchwork of state laws is not a constitutional or effective strategy to address pertinent national issues like immigration. The NHLA, however, disagrees with the Court’s failure to invalidate the “show me your papers” provision of SB 1070, which will lead to racial profiling and an erosion of trust between the Latino community and law enforcement officials.”

Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel of MALDEF stated – “Today's majority decision should bring to a grinding halt the engine of intolerance and racism that has promoted these anti-immigrant laws across the country. The Court resoundingly affirmed longstanding precedent recognizing the breadth of the federal government's exclusive authority in the area of immigration regulation. Unfortunately, while recognizing the extraordinary ambiguity in the poorly-written Section 2(B), the majority failed to appreciate the harms from allowing any implementation of the provision. Fortunately, there can be no implementation of that section of the law until the district court has a chance to consider other legal claims and to seek an authoritative interpretation of the section.”

Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR stated – “We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down most of the elements of this offensive law and reaffirm that the federal government has primary responsibility on immigration. We remain deeply troubled, though, that the Supreme Court allowed the heart of the problem in SB 1070—legitimizing racial profiling—to stand, and failed to decisively remove the bull’s eye from the backs of Arizona’s Latinos, leaving it to future lawsuits to address. We fear this part of the decision will open the floodgates to the harassment, abuse, and intimidation of our community in what is already the most hostile place for Hispanics in the country.”

Established in 1991, The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) brings together Hispanic leaders to establish policy priorities that address, and raise public awareness of the major issues affecting the Latino community and the nation as a whole. For more information, please visit www.nationalhispanicleadership.org.

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