Friday, September 30, 2011

An anti-immigration rampage of judicial proportions

From the Washington Post, September 29, 2011

Obama administration widens challenges to state immigration laws

Erik S. Lesser/AP - A man holds a United States flag while marching through downtown Atlanta in protest against Georgia's strict new immigration law July 2, 2011.

The Obama administration is escalating its crackdown on tough immigration laws, with lawyers reviewing four new state statutes to determine whether the federal government will take the extraordinary step of challenging the measures in court.

Justice Department lawyers have sued Arizona and Alabama, where a federal judge on Wednesday allowed key parts of that state’s immigration law to take effect but blocked other provisions. Federal lawyers are talking to Utah officials about a third possible lawsuit and are considering legal challenges in Georgia, Indiana and South Carolina, according to court documents and government officials.
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A look at how other states have responded to Arizona’s immigration law.

Alabama's strict new immigration law, which was largely upheld Wednesday by a federal judge, requires police to jail anyone who can't prove he or she is in the country legally. (Sept. 29)
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The level of federal intervention is highly unusual, legal experts said, especially because civil rights groups already have sued most of those states. Typically, the government files briefs or seeks to intervene in other lawsuits filed against state statutes.

“I don’t recall any time in history that the Justice Department has so aggressively challenged state laws,” said Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law expert at George Washington University Law School.

The legal skirmishing comes as immigration emerges as a defining issue in the presidential campaign and Hispanic voters play an increasingly influential role. Most Republican candidates are calling for a hard line on the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal immigrants — and criticizing Texas Gov. Rick Perry for some of his positions on the issue.

President Obama is staking out a position on the other side. He told a roundtable of Latino reporters Wednesday that Arizona’s immigration law created “a great danger that naturalized citizens, individuals with Latino surnames, potentially could be vulnerable to questioning. The laws could be potentially abused in ways that were not fair to Latino citizens.” - more

Immigration issues in the UK

 The threat of legal action by the European Commission over Britain's restrictions on benefits for migrants risks "blowing the Government's immigration policy out of the water", campaigners said today.
The ruling that the UK's "right to reside" test on EU nationals based in the country is a breach of EU law is "an open invitation to benefit tourism", the campaign group Migration Watch UK said...

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