07 July 2010

Obama launches legal attack on Arizona’s law against non US Visa holders

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The Obama administration launched a legal attack on the Arizona US immigration law this week, arguing that only Washington can set laws for arresting illegal immigrants.

US Visa

Obama's administration has challenged the Arizona law that allows anyone to be asked to show proof of a US Visa on the spot.

On Tuesday the government launched the lawsuit saying its immigration enforcement policy targets dangerous people including violent criminals, gang members, drug traffickers and others "who pose a danger to the national security and a risk to public safety". The Arizona law would force federal officials to cope with a flood of illegal immigrants who do not have a US Visa but who pose no danger.

The lawsuit urges a federal judge in Phoenix to block Arizona's law from taking effect later this month.

US immigration rights advocates have been lobbying against the Arizona law, which they say would lead to racial profiling and harassment of Latinos.

President Barack Obama has made no public statement about the lawsuit, but Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano both said the state was out of line.

"Setting immigration policy and enforcing immigration law is a national responsibility," Holder said. "A patchwork of state laws will only create more problems than it solves."

US District Judge Susan Bolton has set a hearing for 22 July to hear arguments on whether to block the law from going into effect on 28 July. 

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