October 28, 2016
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Immigration Groups Oppose Feds AZ Lawsuit

WASHINGTON -- Eighty-one members of the House and Senate have filed an amicus brief refuting claims by the U.S. Department of Justice and other interest groups that Arizona's new immigration enforcement policy is unconstitutional. The brief was prepared with the assistance of the Federation for American Immigration Reform's legal affiliate, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), and the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). FAIR and IRLI also worked closely with members of the Arizona legislature in drafting S.B. 1070 which was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer in April.

In its politically motivated lawsuit, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) contends that the Arizona law infringes on federal authority over immigration law by removing the Executive Branch's prosecutorial discretion not to take action against those violating U.S. immigration laws. The amicus brief reminds the court that the Separation of Powers in the Constitution givesCongress the authority to prescribe immigration laws, and that the discretion of the Executive Branch is limited by the intent ofCongress. The brief then details numerous instances in which Congress has encouraged the participation and assistance of states in enforcement of immigration laws. Moreover, the Executive Branch has frequently recognized Congress's intent that states assist in immigration enforcement.

"The inescapable conclusion of any fair reading of S.B. 1070 is that Arizona is acting precisely as Congress intended," statedDan Stein, president of FAIR. "Congress has made it very clear, over many years, that it welcomes the assistance of state and local governments in the enforcement of immigration laws. Each of the provisions of S.B. 1070 being challenged in the federal lawsuit is consistent with statutes approved by Congress and in no way preempts federal authority in this area.

"Non-enforcement of immigration laws has clearly been a policy of the Obama administration since it has come to office," Stein continued. "The suit filed by DOJ is motivated by the desire of the administration to ensure that no one else enforces those laws, even states like Arizona, which suffer directly from mass illegal immigration.

"We fully expect that when the facts of this case are carefully considered that the court will recognize that the State of Arizona is acting constitutionally and in the best interests of the people of that state," Stein concluded.

About FAIR

Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country's largest immigration reform group.  With over 250,000 members nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests.  FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.  

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