Feds suspend immigration enforcement program after Arizona court ruling
In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision on Arizona's immigration law, Obama administration officials announced Monday they are suspending a key program that allowed state and local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law.
The move further weakens efforts by Arizona and other states to take the reins on immigration enforcement.
The high court decision Monday struck down three provisions in Arizona's law but left in place a central plank that required local law enforcement during routine stops to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect is in the country illegally.
Obama administration officials and congressional Democrats immediately raised concerns this could lead to "racial profiling," though Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer adamantly denies it. To address those concerns, Obama administration officials moved Monday to pull back on enforcement cooperation with local jurisdictions -- meaning that even if local police step up immigration checks, they'll have to rely on federal officials to make the arrests.
Federal officials said the program known as 287(g) would be immediately suspended. That program was a partnership between federal and local governments, and allowed local authorities to make immigration-based arrests.
Officials also said Immigration and Customs Enforcement will be selective in responding to the expected increase in calls from Arizona and other police agencies about immigration status of people they pull over. Officials said ICE will not respond to the scene unless the person in question meets certain criteria -- such as being wanted for a felony.
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