Stop and search ruling worries Obama

2012-06-25 21:48
US President Barack Obama has expressed concern that the Supreme Court has failed to invalidate a key clause of an Arizona immigration law allowing spot checks of identity papers (File, AP)

US President Barack Obama has expressed concern that the Supreme Court has failed to invalidate a key clause of an Arizona immigration law allowing spot checks of identity papers (File, AP)

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Washington - US President Barack Obama on Monday expressed concern that the Supreme Court had failed to invalidate a key clause of an Arizona immigration law allowing spot checks of identity papers

The US president, however, expressed satisfaction that the court had struck down other key provisions of the southwestern state's law on immigration policy, an intensely divisive issue as November's elections loom.

"I am pleased that the Supreme Court has struck down key provisions of Arizona's immigration law," Obama said.

"At the same time, I remain concerned about the practical impact of the remaining provision of the Arizona law that requires local law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of anyone they even suspect to be here illegally."

Opponents of the law, backed by Arizona's Republican governor, warned that it could lead to racial profiling and infringe the constitutional rights of America's Hispanic citizens.

"No American should ever live under a cloud of suspicion just because of what they look like," said Obama in a written statement, adding that the judgment made it even more vital to tackle comprehensive immigration reform.

The Arizona law has aroused intense controversy because of a particular provision that requires police to stop and demand proof of citizenship of anyone they suspect of being illegal, even without probable cause.

In Monday's ruling, Obama and the justice department were largely vindicated on the wider issue of state interference into federal law on immigration matters.

Obama's so far unfulfilled 2008 vow to bring more than 10 million illegal immigrants out of the shadows, which is opposed by conservatives, is emerging as a key issue in the 2012 election, as he courts vital Hispanic voters.

Earlier this month, Obama infuriated illegal immigration hawks by offering those brought to America illegally, between the ages of 16 and 30, work permits and a two year stay of deportation proceedings.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  us
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