Administration Sues Arizona Over Immigration Law The Justice Department is suing to stop Arizona's tough new immigration law from taking effect later this month. Attorney General Eric Holder said the law will "create more problems than it solves." Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer called the lawsuit "nothing more than a massive waste of taxpayer funds."
NPR logo

Administration Sues Arizona Over Immigration Law

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/128352483/128352457" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Administration Sues Arizona Over Immigration Law

Law

Administration Sues Arizona Over Immigration Law

Administration Sues Arizona Over Immigration Law

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/128352483/128352457" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Justice Department is suing to stop Arizona's tough new immigration law from taking effect later this month. Attorney General Eric Holder said the law will "create more problems than it solves." Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer called the lawsuit "nothing more than a massive waste of taxpayer funds."

MARY LOUISE KELLY, Host:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Mary Louise Kelly.

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

NPR's Ted Robbins reports from Tucson.

TED ROBBINS: University of Arizona law professor Mark Miller says that didn't work.

P: Those laws were struck down in a series of cases, starting in the 1870s and coming forward, consistently with the Supreme Court saying immigration is an entirely a matter of federal policy.

ROBBINS: Mark Miller says the problem is that it doesn't give police the discretion to carry out the law, depending on their resources; the same discretion police have to enforce traffic laws, violent offenses, even cooperating with the feds on immigration. It requires them to enforce the immigration law, and forces them to make it a top priority by giving anyone the right to sue if the law isn't enforced.

LOUISE KELLY: Local police chiefs and sheriffs have made this point beautifully in Arizona. They say, it's the law and I will enforce it - but I don't like it. And I don't like it because my goal is public safety, and I think directing resources in this direction will reduce public safety.

ROBBINS: Goddard will be Brewer's opponent in the governor's race should she win the Republican primary. But Goddard's reasoning is that it's a distraction from larger issues.

LOUISE KELLY: Well, from the big picture, I'd much prefer to see the federal government weigh in on the side of immigration reform and border security, rather than picking a fight in court with the State of Arizona.

ROBBINS: Ted Robbins, NPR News, Tucson.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.