Washington, DC -- Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-17) said he was concerned about how the U.S. Supreme Court would rule on the constitutionality of Arizona’s immigration law, as well as the Affordable Care Act, because of the court’s turn to activism, demonstrated in the Citizens United ruling that opened the floodgates of political funding.

“As the Supreme Court debates these cases, their legacy of being one of the most activist courts in history looms large.  The Court that unleashed Citizens United on us, and decided the outcome of the 2000 Presidential race, has two cases that are extremely politically charged.  I am hopeful they will look solely at the law instead of the politics, but the Court’s behavior leaves me skeptical.  Arizona’s immigration law is too harsh, takes the matter too far and its overreach should render it unconstitutional.”

In 2010, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton blocked several of its controversial provisions.  The judge put on hold parts of the law which require immigrants to carry their papers at all times, make it against the law for illegal workers to solicit employment in public places, and allow officers to make warrantless arrests of suspected illegal immigrants.

Rep. Engel continued, “I understand the frustration felt in Arizona, as we have delayed addressing this issue for too long in Washington. However, the federal government needs to lead, as we cannot have 50 different immigration laws across the country.  I supported the McCain/Kennedy reform bill which passed the Senate during the Bush Administration but was killed in the Republican-controlled House.  Immigration was supposedly solved under President Reagan, but we failed to protect our borders and now we are back in the same situation.  The 11 million illegal workers are not going anywhere, and we must figure out a path to citizenship for them, secure our borders, and fix our immigration system.

“I hope the Court’s decision will energize Washington and the two parties will come together, as it has in the past, and find a long-term, effective solution to our immigration problem.”