Thursday, May 27, 2010
The U.S. Justice Department is preparing a legal challenge to Arizona’s controversial new immigration law arguing it is unconstitutional because it impinges on the Federal government’s authority to police the nation’s borders.
Also in the works, the department’s civil rights section is considering possible legal action against the law on the basis that it amounts to racial profiling of Latinos who are legally in Arizona but conceivably could be asked to provide documents proving their citizenship.
Attorney General Eric Holder met Wednesday with nine top police chiefs who object to the Arizona law. Holder promised them he would act on the recommendations soon, a Justice spokesman said.
The police chiefs urged Holder and the Obama administration, to stop the law, saying it could seriously hamper local police work if officers are forced to also serve as border patrol policemen.
Arizona’s new immigration law requires police to determine the immigration status of anyone they stop and suspect is an illegal. It also makes it a state crime to lack proper immigration papers in Arizona.