Republicans Push Back Against SB 1070 Lawsuit
As a judge prepares to hear arguments on the Justice Department’s lawsuit against Arizona’s controversial immigration law next week, Politico reports on Republican efforts to kill the lawsuit. The push comes from two camps. In the House, Reps. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) and Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) collected about 30 signatures for an amicus brief to support Arizona in the lawsuit. The brief will be filed Monday, and the lawmakers hope to have more signatures from the GOP-heavy Immigration Reform Caucus.
Senate Republicans are taking it a step further: Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.) and David Vitter (La.) introduced legislation to block the Justice Department suit entirely. The senators proposed an amendment to a bill to be debated next week that would ban federal funds from being used to overturn SB 1070. Their argument is that it’s a waste of taxpayer money:
“Instead of spending time and taxpayer resources on a lawsuit, the Obama administration should be securing the border,” said DeMint spokesman Wesley Denton. “The president and his administration are trying to invalidate a law that simply enforces federal law.”
Democrats think the Republicans are just trying to drum up support from voters:
“It’s political opportunism,” Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said of Republicans. His district runs along the U.S.-Mexico border and he has called for economic boycotts of the state until the law is overturned. “It’s a very divisive issue not only in Arizona but obviously in other parts of the country. Showing support for [Arizon’s law] is supposed to show hardness on immigration, but it’s appropriate that they wait and see whether this law passes constitutional muster.”