Is Arizona's new immigration law unconstitutional?
US Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday that he is weighing a challenge of the new Arizona immigration law. The law professor who helped write the bill defends it.
As the Obama administration considers a potential legal challenge to Arizona’s tough new immigration law, a professor who helped draft the bill is defending the state measure as supportive of existing federal statutes.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures The scene at the US/Mexico border
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“The bill will withstand any preemptive challenge,” he said, because it reinforces existing federal immigration laws and creates no new immigration crimes.
US Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters on Tuesday that he has assembled a group of lawyers from the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security to weigh a possible federal lawsuit.
The measure was signed on Friday by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. It is slated to take effect this summer, unless challenged in court.
Will the law lead to racial profiling?
Supporters say it is a necessary get-tough measure by Arizona officials in the face of ineffective federal enforcement efforts along the violent and lawless border with Mexico. They deny it will lead to civil liberties violations.
Last week, President Obama called the Arizona law “misguided,” and instructed administration lawyers to “examine the civil rights and other implications.”
Holder voiced similar concerns. He said the measure was “unfortunate” in that it might give rise to potential “abuse” by law enforcement officials. He declined to offer a more detailed legal analysis of the law’s ability to survive a constitutional lawsuit.
“We are reviewing the law right now,” the attorney general said. “We have a group that has been together over the past few days to examine exactly what our reaction is going to be.”