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..
The Arizona law is a result of years of frustration over problems associated with illegal immigration, including drug trafficking and violent kidnappings. Arizona is home to an estimated population of 460,000 illegals, and their state is the biggest gateway into the U.S. for illegal immigrants.
It may seem that the Justice Department suit adds some strength to the civil lawsuits that have all ready been filed opposing the law because of the feeling that Federal laws trump state law. Maybe this was the intent, however, with the number of lawsuits all ready filed with the federal court there was no real need for the DOJ to file. Their lawsuit will not override the others, nor will it expedite any decision that will be made, but just add to the paperwork involved. It is an unnecessary redundancy..
It does stand to reason that since this law encroaches on a level above state authority, the federal government would want representation to show that they are serious about immigration matters at minimum, for its political merits in foreign diplomacy. The question that is not being asked is whether the federal government is willing to compromise the security of its own citizens, to better their relationship with a nation whose citizens are the heart of the issue that now is being challenged in court, or will they start enforcing the laws that are in place to prevent the events that are unfolding?