By Bud Foster - email
"I would be shocked if the federal court said SB 1070 can go into effect," says immigration lawyer and U of A Law School teacher Gabriel Chin.
During a U-S Justice Department background briefing, sources concurred saying "Arizona has crossed the constitutional line."
The 25 page lawsuit, filed in a Phoenix district court, is about who has authority to enforce immigration policy.
It's asking for an injunction to keep SB 1070 from taking effect July 29th and ultimately to declare the law invalid.
The high court has usually ruled in favor of federal enforcement, which makes some feel it will be hard for SB 1070 to ever become law.
"I would be surprised, extremely surprised," says Chin.
Missing from the lawsuit, to the surprise of many, is any mention of racial profiling.
When the law was passed in the Arizona legislature back in April, racial profiling appeared to be the obvious challenge to the law.
But that's not the case.
"I think the reason is they didn't is because they want to continue to be able to use race as a factor for immigration enforcement along the Southern border of the United States," says Chin.
The SPOTUS has allowed exceptions to the racial profiling law for federal law enforcement officials along the border.
To challenge that authority could result in all kinds of complications.
"First, can a state have its own immigration policy and secondly, if they can have their own immigration policy, do we allow all federal rules to apply to the state," he says.
Sources in the Justice Department briefing told News 13, "we have filed the law suit on the basis of pre-emption. We did not file on racial profiling at this time."
That leaves the door open for a civil rights filing in the future.
The Justice Department says SB 1070 opens the door "to a patchwork of laws that hampers the government's ability to enforce immigration law."
Chin says, if there was an agreement to work together, Arizona and the feds, there would likely not be a need for a lawsuit.
Without an agreement, both government entities are heading in opposite directions.
Chin says that's one reason SB 1070 will find the going tough in court, "because of the strenuous objections of the Department of Justice."
Chin says there have been several state immigration challenges over the years from California to Pennsylvania, and the courts generally favor the federal jurisdiction.
There has been many other opinions issued throughout the day from candidates to present office holders.
U-S Senate Candidate J.D. Hayworth says the lawsuit "should fail." Governor Jan Brewer says "Arizona is under attack in federal court."
Whether the courts will follow past history is not a predictor of how the courts may rule in this case but it's certainly to be known soon.
There's little doubt, with the deadline looming, the case will be expedited thorough the system.
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