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Federal Court Dismisses Arizona’s Immigration Lawsuit

On Friday, US District Court Judge Susan Bolton dismissed Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s (R) lawsuit against the federal government charging it with inadequate enforcement of immigration laws. Governor Brewer’s case was a countersuit to the lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice challenging the constitutionality of Arizona immigration law (SB 1070).

The state requested that the court mandate that the federal government “finish building 700 miles of fence along the US border with Mexico, provide enough federal immigration officers in Arizona to respond to local law-enforcement needs, allow Arizona to enforce federal immigration laws, and fully reimburse states for incarcerating criminal illegal immigrants,” according to CNN.

Judge Bolton indicated that the state cannot sue the federal government over immigration enforcement because immigration law is the jurisdiction of Congress, not the courts. She stated, “It is well-settled that federal response to insurrection and rebellion in the states is appropriately determined by the political branches. Bolton also noted that “The complained of expenditures arise entirely from Arizona’s own policy choices and independent constitutional obligations and are not incurred as a result of any federal mandate,” and therefore it is not the responsibility of the federal government to cover the costs of immigration enforcement.

Arizona’s SB 1070 mandates that police investigate and detain anyone believed to be undocumented. In July, Judge Bolton ruled against multiple sections of the Arizona law, including a requirement that police check the immigration status of criminal suspects that they had stopped while enforcing other laws and a provision that would make it a crime not to carry immigration papers. She also ruled against a section that would make it a crime for undocumented workers to seek a job.

The Arizona Republic 10/22/11; CNN 10/12/11