December 8, 2016
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Feds Confirm Suit Against Arizona

 Washington - The Department of Justice announced that it will file suit against the state of Arizona based on the Constitution's supremacy clause stating federal preemption of immigration regulation and enforcement by the states. The following is a statement by Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, a non-partisan, non-profit, pro-immigrant advocacy organization in Washington.

 

We fully support the Department of Justice's decision to put the brakes on Arizona's discriminatory and unconstitutional immigration law. It is critical for the administration to send a clear signal asserting that state and local laws that attempt to regulate immigration, such as the Arizona SB1070 law, will not be tolerated.    

 

Don't just take our word for it. Leading police chiefs across the country have voiced their opposition to the Arizona law because it will burden local law enforcement, undermine community policing, and harm public safety.  George Gascón, Police Chief of San Francisco, CA voiced his concern in a signed declaration, that SB1070 will redirect police from fighting crime,

 

"SB 1070 . . . creates a resource allocation problem. Police departments in Arizona, already spread thinly and underfunded, now have an added responsibility - to enforce federal immigration law"  He added, [P]olice officers cannot take on immigration enforcement without taking substantial time away from priorities that are more central to a local law enforcement agency, such as investigating and preventing violent crimes and property crimes.

 

The resulting harm to public safety will not only impact immigrant communities, but all communities in the state of Arizona because it creates a vacuum in law enforcement."

 

Leading Republicans have also voiced their opposition to Arizona's draconian law. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (SC) has stated that he thinks the law is"unconstitutional" and that "it doesn't represent the best way forward" when it comes to addressing illegal immigration.

 

Republican Congressman Connie Mack (FL) wrote on an op-ed titled "Why conservatives should oppose Arizona's immigration law",

"The Arizona immigration law reminds us of how fear and distrust can lead to bad laws and even more government overreach into the private sector and our private lives…trampling on the rights of some Americans to protect the majority conflicts with the values our nation was founded upon."

 

Arizona's law is a clear example of the chaos created by the federal government's failure to fix our broken immigration system and the need to prevent the spread of Arizona-type legislation to other states..  Our broken immigration system is a national problem that requires a federal solution. Allowing a state to craft and pursue its own immigration policies conflicts with the federal government's exclusive authority to enact a uniform set of immigration laws and execute them in a just manner.  We don't need a muddled patchwork of conflicting immigration policies; we need a national standard and a workable system of immigration laws. 

 

Public frustration over illegal immigration will only increase unless the federal government steps in and solves this complex problem once and for all. This frustration is not solved by states and localities attempting to pass and enforce their own immigration laws.  In order to significantly reduce illegal immigration, restore the rule of law, and replace the chaos of the status quo with a functioning, practical system, we need comprehensive immigration reform - the only sensible and lasting solution. 

 

By reminding the nation that the federal government has the sole authority to set immigration policy and enforce immigration laws, the Obama Administration can close the door on the surging numbers of localities attempting to take immigration policy into their own hands.  Until Congress acts, the Obama Administration must accept full responsibility for carrying out the immigration laws of this nation in a manner that upholds America's fundamental values of equality, fairness and dignity. 

 



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