Ben Cardin - Senator for Maryland

CARDIN CALLS FOR PASSAGE OF BILL TO END RACIAL PROFILING BY LAW ENFORCEMENT FOLLOWING SUPREME COURT DECISION ON ARIZONA SB 1070

A Cautious Victory for the Rule of Law

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Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) called it a “cautious victory for the rule of law” that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a majority of Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law. He released the following statement in response:

“I am pleased that the Supreme Court struck down most provisions of Arizona’s immigration law today.  SB 1070 law was discriminatory and would have encouraged police officers to engage in racial profiling and make warrantless arrests by creating new state criminal offenses for undocumented immigrants. I am disappointed, however, that the Court upheld the ‘show me your papers’ part of the Arizona law which authorizes law enforcement officers to stop an individual if there is ‘reasonable suspicion’ they are undocumented immigrants.  This provision will encourage racial profiling and discriminatory enforcement by law enforcement officers, wasting valuable time and resources that would be better used for legitimate law enforcement activity.  I expect this provision to continue to be challenged in court once it actually takes effect and is used by Arizona law enforcement officers.

“In light of this decision, I would encourage the Justice Department to continue protecting the civil rights of all Americans. Congress also now has to take action.  First, we must pass the End Racial Profiling Act, S. 1670, legislation I introduced that would prohibit racial profiling by federal, state, and local law enforcement officers.  The bill also requires training of law enforcement officers on the issue of racial profiling. Second, Congress must finally break the gridlock that is holding back comprehensive immigration reform. We must work together to find a balanced approach that reforms our current immigration laws, secures our borders and creates a fair process to bring illegal immigrants out of the shadows and into compliance with our laws.”

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