Immigration law in Arizona targeted in Department of Justice lawsuit
Immigration law: A Justice Department suit filed Tuesday alleges that federal law trumps the controversial state statute and that enforcing immigration law is a federal responsibility. Legal experts are split on the likely outcome.
(Page 2 of 2)
The suit will depart from the passionate outcry seen so far in the case, says Chisti. The media and public imagination have run away with the social and cultural ramifications of the law, he says, by focusing on the moral issues and economic boycotts, but the nuts-and-bolts of the issue are by comparison quite boring, he argues. “The court analysis of this will be very technical and non-sexy,” he adds.Skip to next paragraph
Partly because of such marked disagreements within the legal profession itself, other analysts say the public should watch how politics play into the matter.
“Time will tell whether it was a wise political decision for the administration to sue the state of Arizona in addition to touting its continued support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.,” says Catherine Wilson, a political scientist at Villanova University. She says the decision by the Justice Department to file suit could have potentially damaging repercussions for the Arizona midterm elections this year.
“About two weeks ago, three embattled Arizona Democratic Representatives – Reps. Harry Mitchell, Gabrielle Giffords, and Ann Kirkpatrick – urged the President to reconsider the lawsuit, given their vulnerable seats. Instead of suing the state, they argued that the Obama administration’s efforts would be best spent on providing resources and security to the border.”
“This is a political calculation,” says Mr. Johnson. He says there will be criticism of the DOJ lawsuit in Arizona and other states, “but I’m sure the administration wanted to think politically about how it could affect comprehensive immigration reform.” President Obama’s July 1 speech is clear evidence of the desire by this administration to determine the role of the federal government in immigration, he adds.
- Why busy Obama is focusing on long-shot issue of immigration reform
- Why boycotts about Arizona immigration law are stalling
- Readers weigh in: Is the Justice Department right to challenge Arizona's immigration law?