U.S. Supreme Court Justice and McLean resident Anthony Kennedy paid tribute to immigrants in Monday's majority opinion that he wrote for the Court striking down most of the Arizona's anti-immigration law.
Kennedy, who is of Irish heritage, wrote of the historical importance and sweep of immigrants coming to American shores, at the conclusion of the 5-3 opinion. The opinion struck down many components of Arizona illegal immigration enforcement laws.
"Immigration policy shapes the destiny of the Nation.
On May 24, 2012, at one of this Nation’s most distinguished museums of history, a dozen immigrants stood before the tattered flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the National Anthem.
There they took the oath to become American citizens. . . These naturalization ceremonies bring together men and women of different origins who now share a common destiny. They swear a common oath to renounce fidelity to foreign princes, to defend the Constitution, and to bear arms on behalf of the country when required by law.
The history of the United States is in part made of the stories, talents, and lasting contributions of those who crossed oceans and deserts to come here.
The National Government has significant power to regulate immigration. With power comes responsibility, and the sound exercise of national power over immigration depends on the Nation’s meeting its responsibility to base its laws on a political will informed by searching, thoughtful, rational civic discourse.
Arizona may have understandable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration while that process continues, but the State may not pursue policies that undermine federal law."