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U.S. lawsuit against Arizona draws wide reaction

Comments by advocacy groups, elected officials and others regarding the U.S. Department of Justice’s filing of a lawsuit challenging Arizona’s immigration enforcement law:

“As a direct result of failed and inconsistent federal enforcement, Arizona is under attack from violent Mexican drug and immigrant smuggling cartels. Now, Arizona is under attack in federal court from President Obama and his Department of Justice.” – Gov. Jan Brewer.

“Arizonans are understandably frustrated with illegal immigration, and the federal government has a responsibility to comprehensively address those concerns. But diverting federal resources away from dangerous aliens such as terrorism suspects and aliens with criminal records will impact the entire country’s safety. ” — U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

“The Obama Administration has not done everything it can do to protect the people of Arizona from the violence and crime illegal immigration brings to our state. Until it does, the federal government should not be suing Arizona on the grounds that immigration enforcement is solely a federal responsibility.” — U.S. Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain, R-Ariz.

“It is disappointing to see the federal government choosing to intervene in a state statute instead of working with Arizona to create sustainable solutions to the illegal immigration issue that our state and country so desperately need.” — Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard.

“Gov. Jan Brewer cannot be permitted to pervert federal policy priorities and obstruct national progress all in the name of political pandering.” — Thomas A. Saenz, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund president and general council.

“Arizona’s new law will likely spawn a patchwork of new immigration laws around the country. This isn’t an optimal approach. However, the response cannot be a patchwork of federal challenges — it needs to be comprehensive immigration reform.” — U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.

“The impact of illegal immigration on Arizona’s well-being cannot be denied. But to require local police to act as immigration agents when a lack of local resources already makes enforcing criminal laws and ordinances a challenging proposition, is not realistic. ” — Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor.

“This lawsuit is a sideshow, distracting us from the real task at hand. ” — U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz.

” Our country needs a federal solution to this problem, not a chaotic hodgepodge of 50 different state immigration policies.” — U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., Congressional Hispanic Caucus chairwoman.

“For President Obama to stand in the way of a state which has taken action to stand up for its citizens against this daily threat of violence and fear is disgraceful and a betrayal of his Constitutional obligation to protect our citizens. ” — U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform ranking minority member.

“While the president acknowledged last week that Arizonans are justifiably fed up with inaction, filing a lawsuit is counterproductive to his statements of appealing to the American people’s highest ideals to create a sensible and workable immigration policy. Arizonans are tired of the grandstanding. Political posturing on this issue has to end.” — U.S. Rep. Harry Mitchell, D-Ariz.

“The administration’s lawsuit is a cannon shot across the bow of other states that may be tempted to follow Arizona’s misguided approach. “— Lucas Guttentag, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project director.

“If the president wants to make real progress on this issue, he can do so by taking amnesty off the table and focus his efforts on border and interior security.” — U.S. Sen. Mitchell McConnell, R-Ky., Senate minority leader.

“Instead of spending taxpayer funds to challenge Arizona’s constitutional right to protect its borders and its citizens, the Obama administration should secure Arizona’s borders and the borders of other states.” — Washington-based American Center for Law and Justice.

“The people Jan Brewer calls ‘illegal’ will one day be citizens of this country, they will become leaders of Arizona, and they will have succeeded in strengthening the Union and defending our Constitution along their path.— Pablo Alvarado, National Day Laborer Organizing Network director.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

5 comments

  1. I applaud the Obama administration for taking a deliberate yet strident step to prohibit the enactment of SB 1070. It is unfortunate that the U.S. Department of Justice has to intervene. However, it is comforting to know that the department is willing to vigorously defend individual rights and preserve constitutional protections.

    Earlier this year I cooperated with the U.S. Department of Justice’s ongoing evaluation of abuse of power allegations against Sheriff Joe Arpaio. I welcome the department’s current effort to stop this misguided legislation.

    This bill has divided our state, inflamed distrust among Arizonans and caused those in other states to reconsider their economic relationships with us. Hopefully this is the first step to putting an end to SB 1070.

    Whatever the outcome of SB 1070, we need comprehensive immigration reform NOW! John McCain’s incessant flip-flopping, say-anything and do-nothing approach made the passage of SB 1070 possible.

  2. The lawsuit filed against AZ by the Justice Department is on it’s face
    hypocritical, and in regard to it’s substance is just silly.
    The federal Goverment needs to get it’s act together and properly
    address this highly volatile issue by enforcing the Federal Laws
    on immigration that are already laws.
    To approach SB 1070 in this manner is proof that the Federal
    Government is trying to govern by “nuancing” of immigration laws.
    The citizens of AZ must stick together in our demand that we
    have the immigration laws enforced and the border made much
    more secure for the safety of all of us of every color and ethnicity.

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