(ATLANTA, GA – June 25, 2012) –“We applaud the majority’s opinion in Arizona v. United States to the extent that it makes clear that the federal government (and not the states) is the principal enforcer of the nation’s immigration laws. Just as importantly, the Court decided that states may not arrest persons without a warrant merely because there is a suspicion that they may be illegal aliens.
This decision paves the way for Congress to do what it should have done long ago – create a path to legal residency for children brought to this country. The Congress should not delay acting on immigration reform until after the November elections. They should put their cards on the table now. Listening to Marco Rubio on Meet the Press Sunday morning was like stumbling through a house of mirrors. According to the Florida senator, the U.S. admits one million immigrants a year and has one of the most generous immigration policies on earth and yet, the immigration system is broken and cannot accommodate all those who seek to enter. The voters deserve to know now the policies of the candidates they support.
It is also an opportunity for the nation to have a rational dialogue about the potential role of immigration in fueling economic growth. One of the reasons that some European nations are suffering economic malaise is because of aging, declining populations. The U.S. does not face that threat. But there are others. Until we invest mightily in education, blacks and other minorities born in the U.S. are rightfully skeptical of the idea that immigration does not impede their own employment opportunities.
Other states, including Georgia, South Carolina, Indiana and Utah, must now go back to the legislature to craft regulations that will withstand constitutional muster. The nation is undeniably changing. Will we move away from democracy in a futile attempt to subvert the change with dubious immigration provisions and voter suppression? Or will we embrace diversity and welcome the change as a source of strength?”
The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a progressive organization protecting, defending and expanding civil rights to improve economic and educational opportunity. The organization is headquartered at 930 E. 50th St. in Chicago. For more information about the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, please visit http://www.rainbowpush.org or call (773) 373-3366.