NPR logo AG Holder: U.S. Mulls Response To Arizona Immigration Law


AG Holder: U.S. Mulls Response To Arizona Immigration Law

Attorney General Eric Holder was asked at a news conference Tuesday for a response to Arizona's new anti-illegal immigration legislation which authorizes law enforcement in that state to inquire of those they stop for proof they're in the U.S. legally.

President Barack Obama said last Friday, the day Arizona's Gov. Jan Brewer signed the legislation, that he had ordered his administration to review the law. Holder said the examination was underway and all responses are being considered, including a federal lawsuit.

REPORTER: ... What is the status of this department's preliminary review at this point of the Arizona immigration law?

ATTY GEN. HOLDER: Well, I think that that law is an unfortunate on. I think that it is I fear subject to potential abuse. And I'm very concerned about he wedge that it could draw, between communities that law enforcement is supposed to serve and those of us in law enforcement.

The Justice Department, along with the department — along with DHS, is looking at the law to decide exactly how we are going to react to it. We are considering all possibilities, including the possibility of a court challenge.

REPORTER: Do you think it's clearly an unconstitutional measure?

ATTY GEN. HOLDER: Well, as I say, we are reviewing the law right now. We have an — a group that has been together over the past few days to examine exactly what our reaction is going to be to it. So that review's under way.

Another cabinet member, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, also expressed concern about the new law in the state where she was previously governor.

An excerpt of the report on the network's newscast by NPR's Don Gonyea:

Testifying before a senate committee, Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano called the new Arizona law misguided and warned it will siphon money from her staff needs to go after dangerous illegal immigrants.