September 2, 2010
Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox today announced that he filed
an amicus brief this afternoon with the U.S. Court of Appeals supporting
Arizona's common-sense immigration reform law against a lawsuit filed by the
Obama administration. The brief filed in support of Arizona's law follows a
July 2010 ruling by Arizona District Court Judge Susan
R. Bolton that barred Arizona's
new immigration law, SB 1070, from taking effect
on July 29, 2010 as intended by
Governor Jan Brewer and the Arizona legislature.
Michigan is the lead state backing Arizona before the Court and is joined by ten
states: Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South
Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Virginia.
also led the coalition of nine states that filed an earlier amicus brief
supporting Arizona's law in District Court, said, "When Arizona and other states
attempt to exercise their sovereignty and protect their borders, their efforts
should not be hindered by the federal government or judicial activism. As this
case moves forward, we will continue to stand for state sovereignty and the
citizens of Arizona as they fight to improve security and confront the problem
of illegal immigration."
Governor Jan Brewer said, "The vast majority of the people of Arizona and I are
so appreciative of the leadership and support shown by Attorney General Cox and
the leaders of the other states in our fight with the federal government. We
are all together in this historic fight to vindicate the long-standing rights of
states to complement the efforts of our federal government in enforcing
immigration laws. I am confident we will win in the end, even if we have to go
all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court."
On July 28,
2010, U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton barred parts of Sections 2 and 5, and
all of Sections 3 and 6, of the Arizona immigration law from going into effect
pending the outcome of a lawsuit by the Obama administration. The affected
provisions include parts of the law requiring police to determine the
immigration status at lawful stops when they have
reasonable suspicion individuals are in the country illegally and the
measure creating a state crime for failing to
possess immigration documents.
amicus brief, signed by ten states and filed in the
United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, 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 with
uncertainty regarding the reality of the law.
In the brief,
the states are challenging the District Court's unreasonable interpretation of
Senate Bill 1070, arguing that "a State enforcing Congress' intent too well
cannot violate Congress' intent." The brief reads, "It is illogical to conclude
that the States, in acting cooperatively as authorized by federal law and under
the inherent authority to arrest for violations of federal law, act as an
obstacle to Congress' purposes and objectives" (p. 27).
to claim that states exercising their sovereign authority to enforce federal law
could undermine the objectives of Congress, who drafted and approved the very
cooperative enforcement plan that calls upon attorneys general to enforce
federal law in the first place," said Cox.
is the second multi-state effort led by Cox to defend Arizona and state
sovereignty in federal court. In July 2010, Michigan
was the lead state backing Arizona at the district court level and was joined by
Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina,
South Dakota, Texas,
Virginia and the U.S. Territory of the Northern
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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