The Department of Justice challenged the state of Arizona’s recently passed immigration law, S.B. 1070, in federal court today.
In a brief filed in the District of Arizona, the Department said S.B. 1070 unconstitutionally interferes with the federal government’s authority to set and enforce immigration policy.
“The Constitution and federal law do not permit the development of a patchwork of state and local immigration policies throughout the country,” the Department said, adding that such state and local policies would seriously disrupt federal immigration enforcement. Having enacted its own immigration policy that conflicts with federal immigration law, Arizona “crossed a constitutional line,” the Department said.
In response, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer issued a news release saying, “It is wrong that our own federal government is suing the people of Arizona for helping to enforce federal immigration law.
“As a direct result of failed and inconsistent federal enforcement, Arizona is under attack from violent Mexican drug and immigrant smuggling cartels,” Brewer said. “Now, Arizona is under attack in federal court from President Obama and his Department of Justice. Today's filing is nothing more than a massive waste of taxpayer funds. These funds could be better used against the violent Mexican cartels than the people of Arizona.”
The new law is scheduled to go into effect July 29. Signed into Arizona law April 23, the legislation will require anyone whom police suspect of being in the country illegally to produce “an alien registration document,” such as a green card, or other proof of citizenship such as a passport or Arizona driver’s license.
Today’s suit was filed on behalf of the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of State, which share responsibilities in administering federal immigration law.
The Department of Justice has requested a preliminary injunction to enjoin enforcement of the law, arguing that the law’s operation will cause irreparable harm.
Catherine Merlo is Western and online editor for Dairy Today. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.