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Schuette to Lead State AGs in Defense of Public Safety, Arizona Immigration Case
January 27, 2011
- Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced his office will
continue to lead a group of nine state attorneys general in supporting
the State of Arizona's illegal immigration statute as it faces an
ongoing legal challenge by the Obama Administration.
"The enforcement of immigration laws and security of our borders
should be a top priority for the federal government," said Schuette. "Federal
and state governments should work together to ensure the safety of our
citizens. Michigan stands ready to defend state sovereignty and will stand with
Governor Brewer and the citizens of Arizona before the Supreme Court, if
Michigan is currently the lead state on the amicus brief filed in
support of Arizona by state attorneys general with the Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals. The Court heard oral arguments for the appeal on November 1, 2010 and
has yet to issue a ruling.
States signing on to Michigan's briefs filed at both the district
and appellate court levels include: Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, Pennsylvania,
South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Virginia. The U.S Territory of the
Northern Mariana Islands also joined the briefs.
The appeal to the Ninth Circuit came as a result of an injunction
against Arizona's immigration law issued by Arizona District Court Judge Susan
Bolton on July 28, 2010. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer filed an expedited appeal
with the U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit asking the court to lift the
injunction and allow the law to go forward in its entirety. Judge Bolton
blocked several major provisions, including parts of the law requiring police to
work with the federal government to determine the immigration status of
individuals at lawful stops when police have reasonable suspicion they are in
the country illegally, and the measure creating a state crime for failing to
possess immigration documents.
The state coalition's amicus briefs defended the states'
authority to concurrently enforce federal immigration laws, especially in light
of the selective and even lack of enforcement of those laws by the Obama