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Arizona Files Claims Against U.S. in Immigration Suit

Thursday, 10 Feb 2011 05:25 PM

(Updates with court filing in second paragraph.)

Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Arizona filed counterclaims against the U.S. in a lawsuit brought by the federal government over a state law that requires police to determine the immigration status of people stopped for questioning.

Arizona Governor Janice Brewer, in a filing today in Phoenix federal court, accuses the federal government of failure to maintain operational control of the Arizona-Mexico border, failure to protect Arizona from invasion and domestic violence, and failure to enforce federal immigration laws.

“The federal government has effectively conceded its inability to protect Arizona and its citizens from criminal activities associated with illegal aliens,” Brewer said in the filing.

Arizona is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that the state can’t require police to make a “reasonable attempt” to determine whether someone is legally in the U.S. and then detain that person if there is “suspicion” that he isn’t.

Tracy Schmaler, a Justice Department spokeswoman, didn’t immediately return a phone call or e-mail seeking comment.

An estimated 50 percent of illegal aliens enter the U.S. through Arizona, the state said in court filings last year. The illegal immigration and related drug and human trafficking spurred Brewer to sign the Arizona law in April to eliminate “sanctuary policies” that in some Arizona cities restrict law enforcement officers’ ability to cooperate with federal enforcement officers, according to the filing.

The case is U.S.A. v. State of Arizona, 2:10-cv-1413, U.S. District Court, District of Arizona (Phoenix).

--Editors: Peter Blumberg, David Rovella

To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David E. Rovella at drovella@bloomberg.net.

© Copyright 2015 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

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