The United States government has filed a lawsuit challenging the state of Arizona’s new Immigration law that goes into effect at the end of this month. In their filing the United States Justice Department stated “The nation's immigration laws reflect a careful and considered balance of national law enforcement, foreign relations, and humanitarian interests." MSN.com reports.
The lawsuit states, "In our constitutional system, the federal government has pre-eminent authority to regulate immigration matters which is derived from the United States Constitution and numerous acts of Congress. The nation's immigration laws reflect a careful and considered balance of national law enforcement, foreign relations, and humanitarian interests." The question raised by different states either imposing or considering imposing similar immigration laws at state-level is where is the national law enforcement?
Arizona’s law authorizes law enforcement officers who during the course of their regular duties reasonably suspect an individual to be an illegal immigrant to question them as to their immigration status. The law also makes it a crime to be an illegal immigrate within the state and makes it punishable as a violation of state law.
The DOJ has been researching the constitutionality of Arizona’s proposed new law since it was signed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer back in April 2010, though it does not go into effect until July 29, 2010. Many outside eyes have been watching and hoping that the DOJ would file and hopefully get an injunction prior to its enactment date to stop it from going into effect.
They contend that by making illegal immigration a state crime, adding punishment and enforcement to it, Arizona is violating the federal supremacy clause of the Constitution since there are laws all ready in place against illegal immigration.
Sen. Russell Pearce, the author of the law in question, denounces the lawsuit as an insult to the rule of law, as well as to the citizens of Arizona. He believes that the federal government does not want immigration laws enforced and is taking this legal action so that they can return to a policy of non-enforcement..