U.S may sue Arizona


U.S. may sue Arizona over new immigration law

12:58 AM CDT on Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Washington Post, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder

said Tuesday that the Justice Department may sue Arizona over a new state law that authorizes police to question the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally.

"I'm very concerned about the wedge it could draw between communities that law enforcement is supposed to serve and those of us in law enforcement," Holder said.

And Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the new state law could siphon away federal money and staff needed to hunt down dangerous immigrants.

The critical comments by the nation's top law enforcement official and the Cabinet secretary responsible for enforcing immigration laws came four days after Arizona's governor signed into law the measure designed to crack down on illegal immigrants.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid backed off his pledge to fast-track an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws after fellow Democrats voiced skepticism and a key Republican supporter abandoned the effort.

Reid, who is facing a tough re-election battle in Nevada, surprised the White House and many of his Capitol Hill colleagues April 10 when he said that a broad immigration bill "cannot wait." He told a cheering crowd in Las Vegas, "We're going to have comprehensive immigration reform now."

That angered Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the chief GOP negotiator on immigration, who accused Reid of engaging in a "cynical political ploy" to win Hispanic votes, given that the House has not even called up an immigration bill. Graham withdrew his support from a separate climate-change proposal that he had been prepared to endorse, and on Tuesday, he announced that he would oppose any immigration measure until U.S. border security had been improved.

With the fate of two Democratic priorities suddenly thrown into question, Reid said Tuesday that he would not dictate the sequencing of the two measures. He added that both will remain on the horizon after the Senate concludes its current debate on financial regulation.

"If you have a bill that's ready to go, that's the one I'm going to go to," Reid said. But "immigration and energy are equally vital to our economic and national security, and we've ignored both of them for far too long. I'm committed to doing both this session of Congress."

President Barack Obama told an Iowa audience on Tuesday that he can persuade most congressional Democrats to back an overhaul of immigration laws but that Republicans must join the effort. Obama, on a two-day tour aimed primarily at pushing his financial reform agenda, said immigration is too volatile and too subject to political exploitation to be revised without a bipartisan push.

Other Democrats, including senior Obama administration officials, concede privately that an immigration bill is unlikely to move forward in 2010.

They fret about the political cost in November should a Senate controlled by Democrats try and fail to pass a bill.

Graham met with Obama last month to discuss immigration legislation, and he and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., drafted what they called "a framework for action on immigration."

But he suggested Tuesday during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that the prudent course is to go slowly.

Graham said Congress could pass a comprehensive bill "by 2012 if we're smart and we address the big elephant in the room, and that is that our borders are broken and there's a war going on," a reference to the rampant drug-related violence that has gripped Mexico.

UPDATE: MEXICO ISSUES ALERT ON LAW

TRAVEL ALERT: The Mexican government warned its citizens Tuesday to use extreme caution if visiting Arizona, because of a tough new law that requires all immigrants and visitors to carry U.S.-issued documents or risk arrest. The travel alert for Arizona said the law shows "an adverse political atmosphere for migrant communities and for all Mexican visitors."

WARNING: The Foreign Ministry warned that "any Mexican citizen could be bothered and questioned for no other reason at any moment."

BOYCOTTS URGED: A Mexican government-affiliated agency – the Institute for Mexicans Abroad – that supports Mexicans living and working in the United States called for boycotts of Tempe, Ariz.-based US Airways, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Phoenix Suns until those organizations repudiate the law. US Airways reported no cancellations as a result of the controversy. Calls to the Diamondbacks and the Suns were not returned.

The Associated Press

Posted via email from Street_Visuals

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