Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Utah Became Fourth State Sued By USDOJ Over State Immigration Enforcement Law

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

Department of Justice continues to sue states defiant of federal enforcement of immigration laws.

By H. Nelson Goodson
November 22, 2011

Washington, D.C. - On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) announced in a news release, that it had filed a federal lawsuit in Salt Lake City against the state of Utah for passing and trying to implement an immigration enforcement law. USDOJ claims, several provisions of Utah’s H.B. 497 are preempted by federal law. The provisions were enacted on March, 15, 2011.
The department notified Utah state officials of its position that the Utah’s Immigrant Guest Worker statutes, H.B. 116 and H.B. 469, are clearly preempted by federal law. Given that the provisions do not take effect until 2013, and in light of the constructive conversations the department continues to have with Utah officials about these provisions pursuant to the Justice Department’s long-standing policy of exploring resolution short of litigation before filing suit against a state, the department is not challenging these provisions today, according to the release.
Utah became the fourth state to be sued and an injunction is being sought to stop the state from implementing the immigration law.
Three other states, Arizona, Alabama and South Carolina have been also sued and have pending federal cases. The USDOJ have won injunctions to halt implementation of state immigration enforcement laws in all three states.
All of the lawsuits, the USDOJ claims that the state's immigration enforcement laws are unconstitutional and preempts federal enforcement of immigration laws, solely reserved for the federal government.
"The federal government is the chief enforcer of immigration laws, and while we appreciate cooperation from states, which remains important, it is clearly unconstitutional for a state to set its own immigration policy," U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder stated in a news release. "A patchwork of immigration laws is not the answer."
The USDOJ is reviewing state immigration bills in Indiana and Georgia for possible lawsuits as well, according to Holder. The USDOJ previously challenged S.B. 1070, H.B. 56, and Act No. 69 on federal pre-emption grounds in Arizona, Alabama and South Carolina. The department continues to review immigration related laws that were passed in Indiana and Georgia. Courts have enjoined key parts of the Arizona, Alabama, Georgia and Indiana state laws and temporarily restrained enforcement of Utah’s law.
House state legislators in Pennsylvania recently passed an immigration enforcement bill. The state will also be targeted for a federal lawsuit, once it approves the the bill.
The suit was filed on behalf of the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and State, which share responsibilities in administering federal immigration law. The department will soon request a preliminary injunction to enjoin enforcement of the certain provisions of H.B. 497.

Connected by MOTOBLUR™ on T-Mobile

No comments: