Statement of ABA President Re: Supreme Court Ruling in Arizona et al. v. U.S.
The American Bar Association welcomes the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court in Arizona, et al. v. U.S. holding that three provisions of Arizona’s immigration law, S.B. 1070, are pre-empted by federal law. As the ABA argued in the amicus brief it filed in the case, immigration law and policy are and must remain uniquely federal, with states having no role in immigration enforcement except pursuant to federal authorization and oversight.
In light of the Court’s ruling that upholds immigration status checks by state law-enforcement officials under Section 2(B) that are conducted consistent with federal immigration and civil rights laws, the ABA calls on authorities to avoid unnecessary, prolonged detention of individuals who are lawfully present in the United States. In its amicus brief, the ABA showed the difficulties in the federal-enforcement system for determining lawful presence, including the experience of one U.S. citizen who was detained for one month before the federal government was satisfied that he was a citizen.
Informing the ABA’s brief filed in the case were the experiences of the ABA Commission on Immigration in operating its pro bono service programs for immigration detainees in South Texas, Seattle and San Diego. The ABA also relied on the Commission’s 2010 study, Reforming the Immigration System.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
Please click here for a biography and photo of Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III, president of the American Bar Association.
A Spanish-language version of this statement can be found here.
Media contact: Meredith Josef (202-662-1092) or Meredith.Josef@americanbar.org