Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),
Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee,
On Supreme Court Decision In Arizona v. United States
June 25, 2012
“The Supreme Court reaffirmed what the Constitution makes clear: Congress has the authority to make laws setting our national immigration policy. By striking down three of the four provisions at issue in the case, the Court sent anti-immigrant activists a strong message. A patchwork of conflicting immigration laws is not a sustainable result, and I am pleased that the Supreme Court recognized that in striking down a number of overreaching provisions in the Arizona law.
“Although the Court did not strike down a section of the Arizona law that would require police officers to check an individual’s immigration status upon a stop or an arrest, the majority made clear that its application could raise serious constitutional questions. I share those concerns.
“The reluctance of some in Congress to work to meet our immigration challenges recently led the President and the Secretary of Homeland Security to act under their authority to devise an immigration enforcement policy that is consistent with America’s values, history and traditions. I applauded the President and Secretary Napolitano for their actions, but Congress must act to make the lasting improvements our system needs. I hope today’s decision will encourage congressional Republicans to join with us to enact comprehensive immigration reform.”