This week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Arizona’s SB 1070, the immigration law which makes it a state crime for undocumented immigrants to look for work and allows local law enforcement officers to ask detainees about their immigration status.
The case was closely watched across the street at the U.S. Capitol, as it’s been a quarter of a century since the U.S. Congress passed comprehensive immigration legislation.
Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard sighs when she considers the law passed by Arizona lawmakers.
"I don’t know what the Supreme Court is going to do," she said. "But I think there’s always a danger when an action, whether it be the Supreme Court or a state law, sends [a] message to other states that it’s OK to have your own rules."
The L.A. Democrat said Congress should “step up to the plate” and tackle comprehensive immigration reform. But she admits she never imagined it would be so difficult to pass what was considered the easiest piece of immigration legislation, the DREAM Act.
The proposed law offers undocumented college students brought here as children a path to citizenship. She labels Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio’s related proposal (which offers visas instead of citizenship) a “political stunt."