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Obama administration sues Arizona over immigration law
July 7, 2010
3:46 pm
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rath
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Tue Jul 6, 2010 11:54pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Tuesday sued Arizona over the state's strict new immigration law, attempting to wrestle back control over the issue but infuriating Republicans who said the border required more security.

The administration argued the Arizona law, which requires state and local police to investigate the immigration status of anyone they reasonably suspect of being an illegal immigrant, is unconstitutional and would sap law enforcement resources.

The Republican-controlled Arizona legislature passed the controversial law to try to stem the flood of thousands of illegal immigrants who cross its border from Mexico and to cut down on drug trafficking and other crimes in the area.

The lawsuit is part of a broader approach by President Barack Obama to deal with the 10.8 million illegal immigrants believed to be in the country, arguing that immigration is the responsibility of the federal government not each state.

"Seeking to address the issue through a patchwork of state laws will only create more problems than it solves," U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, said in a statement.

The legal action, filed while Congress was on a week-long break, is a political gamble by the administration as a Pew Research Center poll showed 59 percent of people approve of the Arizona crackdown.

And the legal fight also comes at a critical juncture, four months ahead of the mid-term congressional elections, and the Hispanic community has been a major voting bloc that typically has sided with Democrats but Republicans have tried to woo.

The Justice Department filed the lawsuit in federal court in Arizona and asked for an injunction to prevent the law from taking effect on July 29.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer condemned the lawsuit as a waste of taxpayer funds and said the state law was needed because the federal government had not done its job.

"As a direct result of failed and inconsistent federal enforcement, Arizona is under attack from violent Mexican drug and immigrant smuggling cartels. Now, Arizona is under attack in federal court from President Obama and his Department of Justice," Brewer, a Republican, said in a statement.

Brewer vowed to fight the lawsuit and said she had set up a legal defense fund to cover legal fees stemming from the federal challenge and other lawsuits.

"LEGITIMATE CONCERNS" RAISED

The Justice Department acknowledged that Arizona legislators had "legitimate concerns" about illegal immigration but noted that the U.S. Constitution gave the federal government sole authority over immigration matters.

The Arizona law would also divert critical law enforcement resources and would cause the "detention and harassment of authorized visitors, immigrants and citizens" who do not have to carry identification papers, the department said.

Some immigration provisions provide exceptions to illegal immigrants on humanitarian grounds, whether the individuals were fleeing natural disasters or political persecution, the Justice Department added.

The Obama administration warned in the lawsuit that other states were considering similar immigration measures which would result in "further and significant damage" to U.S. relations with countries like Mexico, which last month joined a lawsuit seeking to derail the Arizona law.

Mexico's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday expressed "satisfaction" at the Obama administration's move to challenge the state law.

"The Mexican government will continue to follow this process closely, and stands by its firm commitment to protect the rights of Mexicans abroad," the ministry said in a statement.

The lawsuit drew fierce criticism from Russell Pearce, the Arizona state legislator who authored the law. "Shame on them. This is malfeasance and they are in violation of their oaths of office," he told Reuters after the lawsuit was filed.

A Justice Department official said that if the court refused an injunction, the federal government would closely monitor enforcement of the Arizona law for possible illegal racial profiling or other civil rights violations.

Obama has warned that the Arizona law could lead to a patchwork of different laws passed by the various U.S. states and said that the matter should be resolved at the federal level by Congress.

The U.S. leader last week gave his first major speech on immigration reform since taking office, calling for both parties to join together to pass a comprehensive measure, but the issue has largely been overshadowed by the economic crisis and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Obama has backed allowing undocumented immigrants in good standing to pay a fine, learn English and become citizens. He also has supported tightening border security and clamping down on employers that hire undocumented workers.

But opposing Republicans have said that border security must be significantly improved before dealing with the millions of illegal immigrants, many of them Hispanics, in the country.

Obama has pledged to spend an extra $600 million and send up to 1,200 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to tighten security, however the initial steps to do so have been criticized by Republicans as too little to address the matter.

The suit came after the U.S. Supreme Court said last week that it would decide whether another Arizona law that punishes employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants infringed on federal immigration powers.

The case is United States of America v. State of Arizona et al; Case No. 10-cv-1413 in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.

July 9, 2010
12:23 pm
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gudskepteacal
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So they will sue a state that only wants to enforce federal laws already on the books, but not a peep about cities that outright refuse to enforce the same laws in the form of sanctuary.
This question was asked press sec. Robert Gibbs yesterday and his annoyed, clueless reaction was just about predictable.
Yep , truly upside down... Cry

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and its issuance." - James Madison

July 9, 2010
1:51 pm
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BloodStone
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He is going to lose big on this issue.

only 28% of Americans apporive of this lawsuit. He will be a one termer unless he passes amnesty. It's all he's got left. He really underestimated Americas anger at this invasion.

see you in November..

BloodStone...

If it were raining hookers, I'd get hit by a fag.

July 9, 2010
5:16 pm
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greeney2
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NOboby is against good people needing work, its about the gangs and drug cartels, that have made Phoenix one of the biggest kidnapping cities with statistics. All these border towns are spreading their crime into our border towns, and soon they will have the potential to control those border cities. Imagine all our biggest towns like San Diego, Phoenix, El Paso all so inindated with Mexican drug cartels, our cops can't control it. All you need to do is look at the worst areas of East Los angeles, riddled with gangs and drugs. Where do they think it all comes from, Middle East connections or Mexican/South American connections?

July 9, 2010
11:23 pm
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Halfabo
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He can't very well claim that the Arizona law is unconstitutional since all it does is enforce federal law. I think BO is over stepping his bounds as president. We should be calling for him to step down and let a qualified leader take his place.

July 10, 2010
3:15 am
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frrostedman
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"Halfabo" wrote: He can't very well claim that the Arizona law is unconstitutional since all it does is enforce federal law. I think BO is over stepping his bounds as president. We should be calling for him to step down and let a qualified leader take his place.

You're giving Obama a little too much credit, aren't you?

Or do you really think he's good enough to be called an unqualified leader.

Of course, I could be wrong but it looked like you were placing emphasis on qualified... so as to say he's a leader, just not qualified to be President.

I'm just bustin' yer chops!

But hey, think about it. He's not an unqualified leader. He's not a leader at all. I don't know what I would characterize him as. An unqualified Marxist activist? Something like that.

Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man. - Albert Einstein

July 10, 2010
11:13 am
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Halfabo
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"frrostedman" wrote: [quote="Halfabo"]He can't very well claim that the Arizona law is unconstitutional since all it does is enforce federal law. I think BO is over stepping his bounds as president. We should be calling for him to step down and let a qualified leader take his place.

You're giving Obama a little too much credit, aren't you?

Or do you really think he's good enough to be called an unqualified leader.

Of course, I could be wrong but it looked like you were placing emphasis on qualified... so as to say he's a leader, just not qualified to be President.

I'm just bustin' yer chops!

But hey, think about it. He's not an unqualified leader. He's not a leader at all. I don't know what I would characterize him as. An unqualified Marxist activist? Something like that.

Oh, I wasn't implying that he was a leader. He's not qualified, he's not a leader, he's not even eligible to be president since he was born in Kenya. But all of that would have taken a much longer sentence, and I was feeling kind of lazy at the time. I could go on and explain much more that would disqualify him as president but, I don't think John has the bandwidth.

I really believe if the founding fathers were alive today, the revaluation would have already started. I think a man like Lee Harvey Oswald today, would be considered a national hero. It will get a lot worse before his one term in office is over.

July 10, 2010
4:25 pm
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qmark
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"Halfabo" wrote:
I really believe if the founding fathers were alive today, the revaluation would have already started. I think a man like Lee Harvey Oswald today, would be considered a national hero. It will get a lot worse before his one term in office is over.

You're right Halfabo, I don't think our founding fathers in their wildest dreams would have ever imagined that the federal government would be attacking one of its own states. The damage will get worse and dare I say . . irreversible for a long long time, that is, if we have any more than seven to eight years remaining.

July 14, 2010
6:13 pm
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BloodStone
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He'll do the same thing he's doing with the oil drilling moratorium.

If the courts judge against him , he will just keep filing suits till he gets what he wants. The man can't take losing, well he better get used to it come November. 😀

BloodStone...

If it were raining hookers, I'd get hit by a fag.

July 14, 2010
9:21 pm
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qmark
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"BloodStone" wrote: He'll do the same thing he's doing with the oil drilling moratorium.

If the courts judge against him , he will just keep filing suits till he gets what he wants. The man can't take losing, well he better get used to it come November. 😀
BloodStone...

Lets just hope there isn't an "event" which causes the "temporary" suspension of our liberties before November, or November 2012.

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