Kyl: Obama's Ariz. immigration directive 'creating some very serious problems'

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) strongly criticized the Obama administration for issuing a new directive ordering federal law enforcement to stop responding to certain reports of illegal immigration by Arizona police.

Kyl's Tuesday speech came a day after the administration ordered the Department of Homeland Security to stop responding to certain calls by Arizona police reporting illegal immigrants. The new directive only includes reports in which the suspect is not a convicted criminal, recently crossed the border or was previously deported and illegally returned to the United States.

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Earlier on Monday, the Supreme Court ruled three provisions in the state's controversial immigration law, S.B. 1070, were unconstitutional, but upheld a highly criticized fourth provision.

"The Obama administration has reacted by saying 'well, we don't like your ruling and therefore we aren't going to cooperate with the state of Arizona, as we have been in the past or any other state that has laws like Arizona even if you, the Supreme Court, says that it's constitutional,' " Kyl said. "Now, the petulance and the arrogance of this are something the American people have to judge, but from a law enforcement perspective, this to me suggests that the administration is creating some very serious problems."

The three provisions the court ruled unconstitutional allowed police to arrest foreigners suspected of committing an offense meriting deportation, made it illegal for illegal immigrants to work in the United States and outlawed employers from hiring illegal immigrants. The high court did not, however, throw out a fourth provision that allowed law enforcement to check the immigration status of people suspected of breaking laws unrelated to law enforcement. The court left open the possibility of future legal challenges to that provision.

The Monday directive comes on the heels of another one made by President Obama that stops deportations of immigrants who came to the country illegally when they were young. Under that directive, the administration will not deport the young immigrants and instead be allowed to apply for work visas if they meet certain criteria. An estimated 800,000 immigrants won't be deported because of that directive.

"It was one thing for the administration to say as to eight or nine thousand primarily students who came here because their parents brought them here illegally, 'we're going to find a way to suspend their deportation so that they can go to school or work here, we're just going to not apply the law,' which is what they said last week," Kyl continued. "It's quite another for it to say 'and by the way, we're going to treat all the other illegals the same way.' "

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