Supreme Court Rules on Arizona's Anti-Immigrant Law; Racial Profiling Provision Upheld for Now

American Immigration Lawyers Association


June 25, 2012
George Tzamaras or Belle Woods
202-507-7649 - 202-507-7675 -

Washington, DC - The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is encouraged by the Supreme Court's decision to strike down three out of four of the challenged provisions of Arizona's immigration enforcement law, SB1070. However, AILA is concerned that while the court determined that most of the provisions were preempted by federal authority over the immigration system, it stopped short of striking down the racial profiling provision which requires police to verify immigration status when stopping, arresting, or detaining someone.

"This ruling is, on balance, encouraging, particularly because the court kept the door open to future challenges to the racial profiling provision. But by allowing that section to remain, the court is condoning state interference in immigration enforcement," said AILA President Laura Lichter. She continued, "Across the country, this patchwork of state laws is creating more confusion in an already chaotic immigration system and burdening communities with legal costs as these discriminatory laws are challenged in court.

"However, there is a way to move forward, past prejudice and ignorance. Congress needs to take a principled stand and pass comprehensive immigration reform. If Congress took concrete action and maintained an effective federal immigration system, then this sort of destructive state action would cease and our communities would be safer and our economy stronger. In the meantime AILA urges the Department of Justice to redouble its efforts to ensure that the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans are protected against these kinds of racial profiling laws," Lichter concluded.


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 12062547.