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With SB 1070 ruling, Villaraigosa calls for immigration reform

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The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down sections of Arizona’s immigration policy was applauded today by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who believes that a remaining aspect of the law would be difficult to enforce without racial profiling.

Justices determined that only the federal government has the ability to deport immigrants who are in the country illegally. However, police officers may inquire about a person’s immigration status during a lawful stop.

“Most of us see absolutely no way to apply this law, to enforce this law, without racial profiling, without stopping you as an example because you may look different or foreign to someone,” Villaraigosa told reporters during an impromptu news conference outside City Hall.

“I’m disappointed with their decision with respect to the ‘show me your papers’ provision. And what they’ve essentially said is that (the) issue will continue to be litigated at the trial court and beyond,” he said. 

The mayor said the court's ruling shows the need for comprehensive immigration reform and passage of the Dream Act. 

"Many of these people have been living here for decades. The kids have been here virtually their whole life. They know of no other country. They want to contribute mightily to the nation. Let’s give people an opportunity to do that," Villaraigosa said. 

President Barack Obama recently announced a policy that would allow young people to remain in the country if they were brought to American illegally before the age of 16 and are enrolled in either school or the military. 

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