Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Attorney General Tom Horne will announce Monday what legal steps, if any, they're prepared to take following an injunction of the state's controversial immigration law, which is opposed by the Obama administration.
Among other things, the legislation would have required local law enforcement in Arizona to apprehend and help deport illegal immigrants. The Justice Department sued, arguing that only the federal government has that authority.
Last month, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit sided with the U.S. Justice Department and against Brewer, who signed the measure known as SB 1070 into law last year.
Brewer's legal team could ask the full 9th Circuit to revisit the issue, take the case directly to the U.S. Supreme Court, or choose to do nothing at all, said Matthew Benson, Brewer's spokesman.
Brewer and Horne have scheduled an 11 a.m. (2 p.m. EDT) news conference on the matter.
The Justice Department lawsuit led to the original court decision by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton last July, temporarily blocking the law's most contested parts just a day before they were scheduled to go into effect. That included the requirement that local police officers should check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.
The appeals court ruling last month upheld Bolton's ruling.
Brewer said at the time that the decision harms the "safety and well-being of Arizonans."
"For decades, the federal government has neglected its constitutional duty to American citizens by failing to secure the border," she said. "States like Arizona have borne the brunt of that failure."
The legislation has a variety of supporters and detractors.
Republican lawmakers, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and other state governments were among those filing briefs with the appeals court supporting Arizona's argument. The Mexican government, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the city of Tucson, Arizona, were among those filing briefs supporting the Justice Department's side.
In its lawsuit, the Justice Department challenged only six of the Arizona law's provisions, meaning others went into effect in July.
That includes a ban on "sanctuary cities," or municipalities with laws or policies that render them relatively safe for undocumented immigrants. Bolton's ruling also allowed a provision making it illegal to hire day laborers if doing so impedes traffic. In addition, the ruling allowed parts of the law dealing with sanctions for employers who hire illegal immigrants.
The decision in April sided with the U.S. Justice Department, largely on the argument that federal immigration policy would be greatly undermined -- as might America's standing in the world -- if individual states adopted their own separate immigration laws. Doing so, the ruling contends, essentially means a given state is adopting its own foreign policy, one that may be in opposition to national policy.
"That 50 individual states or one individual state should have a foreign policy is absurdity too gross to be entertained. In matters affecting the intercourse of the federal nation with other nations, the federal nation must speak with one voice," the ruling says.
In February, Brewer announced that Arizona had filed a countersuit against the federal government, seeking the authority to implement its own border security efforts.
At that time, Homeland Security Department spokesman Matt Chandler called Arizona's court claim a "meritless" one that "does nothing to secure the border."
I support state's rights. I do not live there and since our federal government is not fulfilling it's obligation to protect our borders, it's up to the states to do their job for them.
Answer by QuinnMae at 3:11 PM on May. 9, 2011
Answer by CeeCee333 at 3:19 PM on May. 9, 2011
Good Lord, quit with the grammar police. We can post your typos and inconsistencies all day long if you want to go there.
Answer by QuinnMae at 3:33 PM on May. 9, 2011
Answer by Nanixh at 3:21 PM on May. 9, 2011
Answer by Farmlady09 at 3:28 PM on May. 9, 2011
Answer by meriana at 3:25 PM on May. 9, 2011
Don't give her a second thought, OP. When someone pulls the grammar / spelling card they are just showing they have nothing else to complain about.
Answer by QuinnMae at 3:34 PM on May. 9, 2011
Answer by pinkdragon36 at 3:39 PM on May. 9, 2011
Answer by cbk_mom3 at 3:51 PM on May. 9, 2011
Answer by yourspecialkid at 5:29 PM on May. 9, 2011