At least five lawsuits have already been filed in federal court against Arizona’s anti-immigration law, but now Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice is entering the fray.
The Justice Department, as expected, has decided to file a lawsuit seeking to shut down Arizona’s SB 1070, a move that is likely to launch immigration even further into this year’s election debate as conservatives rally around anti-immigrant sentiment in scrounging for votes.
Public opinion polls show support for laws like SB 1070 within the Republican Party, positioning the topic as a sort of litmus test for GOP candidates running in primaries. —JCL
The New York Times:
The Obama administration has decided to file a lawsuit to strike down a new Arizona law aimed at deporting illegal immigrants, thrusting itself into the fierce national debate over how the United States should enforce immigration policies.
The federal government only occasionally intervenes forcefully in a state’s affairs, and it carries significant political risks. With immigration continuing to be a hot issue in political campaigns across the country, the Arizona law, which grants the local police greater authority to check the legal status of people they stop, has become a rallying cry for the Tea Party and other conservative groups.
The lawsuit, though widely anticipated, was confirmed by an unexpected source: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who answered a question about it from an Ecuadorean TV journalist in an interview on June 8 that went all but unnoticed until this week.