Mexico government asks judge to strike down Arizona immigration law

[JURIST] The Mexican government on Tuesday filed an amicus curiae brief [text, PDF] with the US District Court for the District of Arizona [official website] asking that the recently passed Arizona immigration law [SB 1070 materials; JURIST news archive] be declared unconstitutional. The brief was filed in support of the petitioners in a class action lawsuit [complaint; JURIST report] filed last month by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website], as well as several other advocacy groups, seeking an injunction against implementation of the law. Mexico asserted two substantial and compelling interests in filing its brief. The government claims a substantial interest in ensuring its "bilateral diplomatic relations" with the US remain "transparent, consistent and reliable, and not frustrated by the actions of individual US states." It also claims an interest as amicus curiae in ensuring that its citizens are "accorded human and civil rights when present in the US in accordance with federal immigration law." The brief cites a concern that Mexican citizens will be discriminated against based on their ethnicity. In addition to the lawsuit filed by the ACLU, two other lawsuits were filed in April [JURIST report] challenging the constitutionality of the Arizona law. The Obama administration indicated last week [JURIST report] that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] will also be filing a suit challenging the law. The law is set to go into effect on July 29.

Arizona's new immigration has been widely criticized in regard to the law's constitutionality and alleged "legalization" of racial profiling. Earlier this month, the city of Tucson, Arizona joined a lawsuit [JURIST report] against 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. 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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