Arizona’s stand on immigration issues is not necessarily news. It is well known that Arizona enacted a tough immigration law that has brought protests and a federal court challenge to the law. The Arizona law requires police officers in the state to determine the immigration status of individuals stopped for questioning. Citizens and lawmakers in many states have watched as the events transpire related to the Arizona immigration litigation. Many states, including Florida are debating their own anti-immigration laws in light of the Arizona law.
A federal judge previously ruled that the state cannot look into an individual’s immigration status and detain the person based upon suspicion of being in the country illegally. That matter is on appeal in the federal courts. Nonetheless, the saga continues in Arizona. The Governor of that state has now apparently turned the tables in some respect. Today Arizona filed a countersuit in the immigration litigation.
Arizona is suing the U.S. government for failing to maintain the Arizona border and failing to enforce federal immigration laws. Reportedly among the claims in the lawsuit is the claim that the federal government has failed to protect Arizona against “invasion.”
One Senator in that state says the countersuit is a distraction. The state lawmaker criticized the lawsuit as a waste of time, saying the state should be focusing on other issues. The lawmaker feels the “invasion” claim is most likely to fail in federal court.
Arizona’s governor says the state seeks clarification of the obligations the federal government has in immigration issues.
Source: USA Today, “Arizona sues feds over immigration issues,” Alia Beard Rau and Ginger Rough 11 Feb 2011