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Cox to Obama: States Have Right to Enforce Immigration Laws - Attorney General Backs Arizona in Federal Court

Contact: John Sellek or Joy Yearout 517-373-8060

July 14, 2010

LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox today announced that he has filed an amicus brief this afternoon in federal court supporting Arizona's common-sense immigration law against a lawsuit filed by the Obama administration.  Michigan is the lead state backing Arizona before the court and is joined by eight states, and one U.S. Territory Florida, Alabama, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and the Northern Mariana Islands.  

 

 "Arizona, Michigan and every other state have the authority to enforce immigration laws, and it is appalling to see President Obama use taxpayer dollars to stop a state's efforts to protect its own borders," said Cox.  "My mother was a legal immigrant who faithfully carried her green card with her for years before gaining citizenship - it certainly is not too much to ask legal immigrants to do the same today."   

 

            "I would like to thank Attorney General Cox for gathering support from Attorneys General across the country who support the decision to enforce the law and oppose the Obama administration's lawsuit against the people of Arizona," said Governor Jan Brewer. "The United States was founded as a nation of laws and not of men, and I am deeply grateful for the national outpouring of support for the rights of states and the rule of law."

 

            The amicus brief, filed Wednesday afternoon in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, defends the States' authority to concurrently enforce federal immigration laws, especially in light of the selective and even lack of enforcement of those laws by the Obama administration. Under the current situation, the States have lost control over their borders and are left to guess at the reality of the law.

 

            On July 6, 2010, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder filed a lawsuit against Arizona and the state's governor, Jan Brewer, on behalf of President Obama to stop implementation of the state's new immigration law. In its suit, known as The United States of America v. The State of Arizona and Janice K. Brewer, Governor, the Obama administration alleges that Arizona's law is preempted by federal law and seeks an injunction preventing its enforcement.

 

            In December 2007, Cox issued a formal attorney general's opinion ending Michigan's practice of granting driver's licenses to illegal aliens.

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