Press Release

AFT Statement on Supreme Court Immigration Decision

For Release: 

Monday, June 25, 2012


Carolyn Fiddler

WASHINGTON—Today American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten released the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on the constitutionality of Arizona's infamous immigration legislation, commonly known as SB 1070.

"Today America's highest court found unconstitutional three of four provisions of Arizona's SB 1070, reaffirming the pre-eminent role conferred upon the federal government in matters involving immigration. Though the court appears to have narrowed the application of the remaining section of the law and left open the possibility of further challenges, it is troubling that individuals may still be subject to racial profiling under this law.

"We are a nation enriched by its immigrants, and we must value our diversity, not declare war on it. While the single provision of the law upheld by the Supreme Court is deeply troubling, the decision to invalidate most of SB 1070 constitutes a victory for some of our most fundamental beliefs as a nation.

"SB 1070 and its copycat laws in Alabama, Georgia and other states compromise the fundamental rights that we have worked so hard to embed in our national consciousness. The AFT has a long and proud tradition of advancing social justice and civil rights, and of fighting to give not only our members and their families but all Americans access to a better life. We are committed to providing an educational environment that embraces differences and diversity, enabling all students to reach their full potential regardless of citizenship status. The Supreme Court's ruling in this case is an important step forward in re-establishing trust in schools and communities with large immigrant populations across the country."

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.