Arizona officials ask judge to dismiss case challenging new immigration law

[JURIST] Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and Attorney General Terry Goddard [official websites] on Friday filed a motion [text, PDF] in the US District Court for the District of Arizona [official website] to dismiss a case challenging the validity of the the state's controversial immigration law. The suit was filed by Washington-based researcher Roberto Frisancho, alleging that SB 1070 [materials] would lead to him being harassed when he visits Arizona because he is a US-born Hispanic. The defendants' motion claims that the action filed by Frisancho should be dismissed because the plaintiff's injury claim is not ripe and lacks standing:

Plaintiff's assertion of injury rests on speculation about what may happen in the future. It also rests on an erroneous understanding of Arizona law because it fails to consider the amendments to SB 1070 that prohibit law enforcement officials from relying on race, color or national origin to formulate reasonable suspicion of unlawful presence unless permitted to do so by the United States or Arizona Constitution. This lawsuit presents no justiciable controversy and should be dismissed.
Five suits have been filed against Brewer since she signed the bill into law in April. Two claims were file by Arizona police officers claiming that the law will be almost impossible to enforce without engaging in racial profiling. The law, which takes effect July 29, criminalized illegal immigration and requires police officers to question an individual's immigration status if the officer has a "reasonable suspicion" to believe the individual is in the country illegally.

Arizona's new immigration has been widely criticized in regard to the laws constitutionality and alleged "legalization" of racial profiling. Earlier this month, the city of Tucson, Arizona joined a lawsuit [JURIST report] against the the state's new immigration law arguing that it law violates the Commerce Clause and Fourth Amendment [Cornell LII backgrounders] of the US Constitution [text], in addition to federal immigration law, through which the federal government has "fully occupied" the field of immigration control. Tucson was originally named as a defendant along with Brewer in the federal lawsuit [complaint; JURIST report] filed in April by Tucson police officer Martin Escobar. However, the city responded by filing a crossclaim against Brewer seeking an injunction to prevent enforcement of the law. The American Civil Liberties Union [advocacy website] filed suit [complaint, PDF; JURIST report] last month, challenging the constitutionality of the law and seeking an injunction, though some find the law constitutional on its face [JURIST op-ed]. The Obama administration, though supporting immigration reform, has sharply criticized the law [JURIST report], calling it "misguided" and expressing concern that it could be applied in a discriminatory fashion. These criticisms are shared by Mexican President Felipe Calderon [official website, Spanish] who called the law a "violation of human rights" [JURIST report]. In May, a group of UN experts found that the law could violate international standards [JURIST report] that are binding on the US.

 

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