Yesterday, the Justice Department sued Arizona over its infamous immigration law alleging that the state crossed a “constitutional line” thus undermining the federal government’s efforts to monitor illegal aliens.
Arizona’s law signed by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer on April 23 and slated to take effect on July 29, sets up a mandatory system that requires law enforcement officers to verify any person’s legal status if the officer is suspicious of “unlawful presence.” The Justice Department claims that the federal government has the strict and sole authority to create national immigration policy and that “Arizona’s immigration policy . . . exceeds a state’s role with respect to aliens, interferes with the federal government’s balanced administration of the immigration laws, and critically undermines U.S. foreign policy objectives.” The department asked for a preliminary injunction against the policy to prevent “irreparable harm” to the U.S., fearing that Arizona’s law could potentially result in the “harassment and incarceration” of legal aliens and even U.S. citizens who, if stopped by police, cannot produce immediate documentation proving their legal status.
Arizona’s new law was recently cited by President Obama who calls for the immigration overhaul, however, many lawmakers are reluctant to deal with such a hot-button issue so it is highly unlikely that any meaningful immigration reform will happen any time soon.