Attorney General Eric Holder.
Beyond Borders, United States

Arizona Immigration Law Faces Challenge From Obama Administration

June 23, 2010 By Alison Bowen
Attorney General Eric Holder.

Attorney General Eric Holder.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer could face a federal challenge to the law she signed as early as next week.

Attorney General Eric Holder is preparing to file a lawsuit within the week, ABC News reported.

The Arizona law, which would take effect in late July, requires people to carry proof of citizenship and tells police officers to demand proof of legal residency from people whom they stop if there is suspicion of illegal immigration.

The federal lawsuit will argue that Arizona doesn’t have the constitutional right to make immigration policy and that the law could foster racial discrimination.

While she was visiting Ecuador in early June, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a local television station that the administration was preparing to file a lawsuit.

Brewer responded with a press release on her website saying she was “stunned and angered to learn during an Ecuadorian television interview” that the administration was planning a federal lawsuit.

“This is no way to treat the people of Arizona,” Brewer said. “To learn of this lawsuit through an Ecuadorian interview with the Secretary of State is just outrageous.”

She said a recently created legal defense fund brought in $48,000 to defend Arizona’s immigration measures.

“I will ensure the immigration laws we passed are vigorously defended all the way to the United States Supreme Court if necessary,” Brewer said.

Meanwhile, this week in Fremont, Neb., residents passed a controversial measure outlawing the hiring or renting property to undocumented immigrants.

Many immigrant advocates had watched the vote, which tallied 57 percent of citizens supporting the ordinance.

Like Arizona, this town northwest of Omaha argued they were making up for federal inaction on immigration.

The American Civil Liberties Union has vowed to fight the proposal in court.

Image: Ryanjreilly @ Flickr.

About Alison Bowen

Alison is a Missouri native and New York City freelance writer who has wanted to cover Latin America since studying Spanish in Central America. After moving to Brooklyn, her work has appeared in The New York Times, the Daily News, the Manhattan Times and Women’s eNews. She earned a master’s degree in journalism and Latin American and Caribbean studies at New York University. Her thesis focused on immigration policies after September 11, including counterterrorism measures, and their effects on the daily lives of immigrants in New York City.


[…] law, which Governor Brewer signed in April, has been a hot button issue in recent months as the Obama administration openly criticized the law and threatened to file a lawsuit against […]

[…] The Obama administration opposes increasing state enforcement of immigration law and has challenged Arizona’s controversial law in the courts. […]

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