AirTalk for July 6, 2010

Feds to challenge constitutionality of Arizona immigration law

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Scott Olson/Getty Images

Leon Gutierrez, of the Tucson Police Department's Gang Tactical Unit, questions a suspect about his possible gang affiliation following an altercation outside a currency exchange on June 3, 2010 in Tucson, Arizona. The Tucson Police Department is currently gearing up to begin training its officers on the implementation of the state's controversial new immigration law SB 1070. Among other things, the new law makes it a state crime to be an 'unauthorized alien' or to knowingly harbor, hire or transport an unauthorized alien. A Tucson police officer was one of the first to file suit in federal court challenging the new law.

The U.S. Justice Department is expected to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Arizona's law cracking down on illegal immigration, and will seek a preliminary injunction to keep it from taking effect on July 29. Arizona's law requires state and local police, while enforcing other laws, to question a person's immigration status if there is reason to suspect that they are in the country illegally. The Justice Department's lawsuit argues that Arizona's measure infringes on the authority of federal laws through the Constitution's supremacy clause. The filing may also argue that the Arizona law violates citizens' civil rights. How strong is the Justice Department's case against the law, and will it be successful?

Guests:

Pilar Marrero, senior political writer, La Opinion

Kris Kobach, professor of law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City who helped draft Arizona's immigration law SB 1070; former counsel to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft


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