So, it has begun, the lawsuits regarding the constitionality of the Arizona law, SB1070. As reported by CNN:
Washington (CNN) — The Justice Department weighed in on one of the most explosive issues in American politics Tuesday, filing a lawsuit to overturn a tough new Arizona immigration law that has sharply divided people along partisan, ideological and ethnic lines.
It also asked the federal courts to grant an injunction to stop enforcement of the measure before it takes effect late this month.
Arizona’s law requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and allows police to question the residency status of people in the course of enforcing another law. It also targets businesses that hire illegal immigrant laborers or knowingly transport them.
Justice Department lawyers argued in its brief that the state statute should be declared invalid because it has improperly preempted federal law.
“A state may not establish its own immigration policy or enforce state laws in a manner that interferes with the federal immigration laws,” the brief states. “The Constitution and the federal immigration laws do not permit the development of a patchwork of state and local immigration policies throughout the country.”
The Arizona law “disrupts federal enforcement priorities and resources that focus on aliens who pose a threat to national security or public safety. … If allowed to go into effect, [the law’s] mandatory enforcement scheme will conflict with and undermine the federal government’s careful balance of immigration enforcement priorities and objectives.”
Arizona is interested only in “attrition” in order to end illegal entries and has not addressed several other federal obligations to deal with immigrants, including removal proceedings, humanitarian concerns and foreign relations, the brief contends.
President Barack Obama said in a speech July 1 that the measure has “fanned the flames of an already contentious debate.” Among other things, it puts pressure on police officers to enforce rules that are “unenforceable” while making communities less safe — in part, by making people more reluctant to report crimes, he said.