PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Attorney General
Terry Goddard asked a judge on Friday to dismiss a lawsuit that
seeks to overturn the state's new immigration law.
Lawyers for both officials say the lawsuit by Washington-based
researcher Roberto Frisancho should be thrown out because his claim
is based on his speculation that, as a U.S.-born Hispanic, he will
be asked for immigration papers as a result of the law.
The law requires police, while enforcing other laws, to question
a person's immigration status if officers have a reasonable
suspicion that the person is in the country illegally.
Brewer and Goddard's lawyers say the lawsuit doesn't take into
account that the Legislature amended the law to strengthen
restrictions against using race as the basis for questioning by
Frisancho couldn't be reached for comment late Friday afternoon
because he doesn't have a listed phone number.
In all, five legal challenges have been filed to the law since
Brewer approved it in April. She was sued in four of the five cases
and was required to file a response to two of the lawsuits on
Friday. Brewer's response to one of the lawsuits wasn't publicly
released late Friday afternoon.
"The law is clearly unconstitutional, but the overriding factor
is that it does nothing about border violence and making
neighborhoods safer," said Democratic state Rep. Ben Miranda, an
opponent of the law and attorney who's representing a Latino clergy
group seeking to overturn the law.
The law, which takes effect July 29, also makes it a state crime
for legal immigrants to not carry their immigration documents and
bans day laborers and people who seek their services from blocking
traffic on streets.
The challenges generally allege that the law is
unconstitutional, will lead to racial profiling and argue that it's
the federal government's responsibility to regulate immigration.
Brewer's staff has said the law is constitutional, prohibits
racial profiling and is a response to the federal government's
failure to confront immigration woes.
More than a month ago, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said
the federal government also may challenge the law.
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