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29 Jun, 2012

U.S. Mayors: “Papers Please” Provision Will Pose Ethnic, Racial Profiling Challenge


Washington, D.C. June 25, 2012 – The following statement was issued by U.S. Conference of Mayors President, Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter in reaction to the Supreme Court’s Arizona v. United States decision Immigration Law, also known as the ‘Papers Please’ Provision. As with all such statements, it is diplomatically and carefully worded in order to not upset anyone. But its message is crystal clear.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,309 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. The organisation has just concluded its annual meeting for 2012. The statement reads:

“Today’s Supreme Court decision in Arizona v. United States provides yet another reason why Congress should quickly pass comprehensive immigration reform. It demonstrates that we cannot fix our broken immigration system on a state-by-state basis. “The U.S. Conference of Mayors is pleased that the Court struck down three troubling provisions in the Arizona law. We are concerned, however, that the Supreme Court upheld the so-called “papers please” provision, which will have far-reaching consequences for cities. It will compromise the ability of our local police departments to maintain public safety and jeopardize the relationship, which they have carefully built with immigrant communities. It will require police officers to spend more time and resources investigating immigration status, leaving them less time and fewer resources to investigate serious crimes. The challenge for mayors and their police departments is to minimize harm and assure immigrant communities that they will not engage in racial or ethnic profiling. “In its decision the Court opened the door on a future challenge to this provision after it takes effect, and we hope that will occur with all due speed.” ###