Obama reaffirms support for federal immigration reform

[JURIST] US President Barack Obama [official website] on Wednesday reaffirmed his commitment to comprehensive federal immigration reform, calling the recently passed Arizona immigration law [SB 1070 materials; JURIST news archive] "misguided." Obama held a joint press conference with Mexican President Filipe Calderon [official website, in Spanish] where he expressed concern [remarks] that the law could be applied in a discriminatory fashion and indicated the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] is considering bringing legal action to prevent enforcement of the law. Calderon condemned the Arizona bill but also indicated [remarks] that both countries must work together in order to develop a comprehensive approach to immigration that will benefit the entire region. Obama's stance on the Arizona law reflects his administration's immigration policy [official website] that aims "to bring people out of the shadows."

The Arizona bill, signed into law [JURIST report] in April by Governor Jan Brewer, has caused intense controversy. Proponents of the law argue that it will discourage illegal immigration, while opponents contend it will lead to discriminatory police practices based on race. On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] seeking an injunction against implementation of the law. That lawsuit joined two others filed last month [JURIST report] questioning the constitutionality of the law. Earlier this month, a group of UN human rights experts indicated the measure may violate international standards [JURIST report] that are binding on the US.

 

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