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Press Release: NETWORK Deplores Part of Supreme Court Immigration Ruling While Commending Other Portions

FOR RELEASE: June 25, 2012                                                       

CONTACT: Stephanie Niedringhaus, 202-347-9797 x224, (c)703-346-8923

Washington: NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, deplores the Supreme Court decision to uphold Section 2(B) of the Arizona immigration law (SB 1070), the harshest part of the law. Sister Simone Campbell, NETWORK Executive Director, commented: “This decision legitimizes discrimination and racial profiling, and we are appalled. It also convinces us more than ever that this nation needs comprehensive immigration reform at the national level. Discriminatory practices like those in Arizona reflect some of the worst attempts to create piecemeal immigration laws at the local level. Simply stated, the Arizona law, as written, is unjust, discriminatory and mean-spirited.”

The “papers please” section of the Arizona law, which was upheld, requires state and local police to ask for proof of immigration status whenever they have a “reasonable suspicion” that someone who has been lawfully stopped is undocumented. It also requires that they verify immigration status with the federal government. This not only harasses immigrants, but U.S. citizens as well. Local police must waste their valuable time and the time of lawfully present people when they carry out this requirement.

NETWORK hopes there will be further legal challenges to this part of the law.

NETWORK commends the Supreme Court for its ruling striking down three other unjust portions of Arizona’s law. These sections make it a state crime to violate federal registration requirements or apply for work if unlawfully present. The third provision authorizes police officers to arrest someone without a warrant when they believe that person has committed an offense for which he or she could be deported.

Added Sister Simone Campbell: “We are elated that the Supreme Court recognized that these provisions at least are unconstitutional and unjust. Our nation urgently needs reasonable, fair immigration laws. We call on Congress to make that happen now.”

NETWORK—a Catholic leader in the global movement for justice and peace—educates, organizes and lobbies for economic and social transformation. Founded in 1971 by 47 Catholic sisters, NETWORK is supported by thousands of groups and individuals committed to working for social and economic justice.