Thursday Immigration Blog Roundup

Talk of immigration-related lawsuits filled the news this week, and it all started with a television interview that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave overseas in Ecuador.

The rather obscure interview footage most likely would have never made it into American news, except for a brief, but politically explosive, remark Clinton made on tape when the discussion turned to Senate Bill 1070. Set to take effect July 28, the bill passed in Arizona will allow police officers to question and detain anyone whom they have “reasonable suspicion” to believe is an undocumented immigrant.

"President Obama has spoken out against the law because he thinks that the federal government should be determining immigration policy," Clinton said in the interview. "And the Justice Department, under his direction, will be bringing a lawsuit against the act.”

While spokespeople for the U.S. Department of Justice initially asserted that the possibility of a lawsuit was still under review, there have since been reports from sources of the Obama administration that Attorney General Eric Holder will be pursuing legal action against Arizona as early as next week.

Fueling the fire, on Tuesday Mexico filed an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court to express the nation’s discontent with the Arizona legislation, and to show support for Friendly House, et al. v. Michael B. Whiting, et al, the case that is currently challenging the constitutionality of the bill.

According to Dewey & LeBoeuf, the New York-based law firm that filed the brief on Mexico’s behalf, the Mexican government “has taken the position, as amicus curiae, that SB 1070 should be declared unconstitutional and not take effect.”

As the conflict over Arizona’s immigration legislation continues, voters in a different state have passed another ordinance targeting immigrants. Residents of Fremont, Nebraska voted on Monday to ban employers and landlords from hiring or renting to undocumented immigrants. The American Civil Liberties Union has already publicly promised to file a lawsuit challenging the ban.

Interestingly, the passed ordinance still allows for “the intermittent hiring of casual labor for domestic tasks.” In other words, while registered businesses will need to add citizenship verification to their hiring process, while private households can continue to pay whoever they want to do their home’s dirty work.

The federal government’s next moves in addressing these new immigration legislations will be closely watched by those on both sides of the debate. If Hillary Clinton was right, and the U.S. Department of Justice does pursue a lawsuit against Arizona, we will see the topic of immigration reform experience a whole new revival in the media.

Read more at The Opportunity Agenda website.

Tags: Opportunity, immigration, immigrant, Arizona, 1070, obama, Nebraska, clinton (all tags)

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