Rice expert available to comment on Supreme Court’s ruling on Arizona immigration law; calls it ‘a balanced decision’

David Ruth

Jeff Falk

Media note: The Baker Institute has a radio (with ISDN) and TV studio available for interviews.

Rice expert available to comment on Supreme Court’s ruling on Arizona immigration law; calls it ‘a balanced decision’
Baker Institute’s Tony Payan is author of ‘The Three US-Mexico Border Wars: Drugs, Immigration and Homeland Security’

HOUSTON — (June 25, 2012) – The Supreme Court this morning upheld a key part of Arizona’s tough immigration law but struck down others as intrusions on federal sovereignty. This ruling comes in advance of November elections in which immigration will be a major issue.

Tony Payan, a scholar for immigration studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is available to comment on this ruling, its context and the potential ramifications.

“The Supreme Court reaffirmed, as a whole, that the principal immigration law enforcer is the federal government and limited the states’ ability to enforce immigration laws in the same stroke,” Payan said. “The biggest loser here is the state of Arizona, although the ruling seems to be a fair compromise overall and one that sends a message to the federal government to fix this problem. A balanced decision, overall.”

Payan is an associate professor of political science at the University of Texas at El Paso and also holds an appointment at Universidad Autónoma de Juárez in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. His areas of study are in the field of international relations, with an emphasis on U.S. foreign policy, Mexican foreign policy and U.S.-Mexico relations. He is the author of “The Three U.S.-Mexico Border Wars: Drugs, Immigration and Homeland Security.”

To arrange an interview with Payan, contact Jeff Falk at jfalk@rice.edu or 713-348-6775. 


Founded in 1993, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston ranks among the top 20 university-affiliated think tanks globally and top 30 think tanks in the United States. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute sponsors more than 20 programs that conduct research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows and Rice University scholars. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog.

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.