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March 27, 2012

ABA Disputes Arizona Immigration Provisions in Brief to High Court

Citing its expertise in immigration law and experience in immigration detainee programs, the _ is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that four provisions of Arizona’s controversial anti-illegal immigration law, known as S.B. 1070, are unconstitutional because they are pre-empted by federal immigration law.

The four provisions were enjoined by lower federal court rulings before the law went into effect. In an amicus brief filed late Monday in State of Arizona et al. v. United States of America, the ABA urges affirmance of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, stating that none of these provisions can be implemented by Arizona without inevitably conflicting with the federal system of statutes and regulations that is carried out by federal agencies and specialized courts.

“The ABA urges this Court to conclude that the four enjoined provisions of Arizona’s S.B. 1070 are preempted because immigration law and policy are and must remain uniquely federal, with states having no role in immigration enforcement except pursuant to federal authorization and oversight,” the ABA states.

Significantly informing the ABA’s brief, and the ABA policy on which it is based, was the experience of the ABA Commission on Immigration in establishing and operating pro bono service programs for immigration detainees in South Texas, Seattle and San Diego. The ABA also included in its arguments the commission’s 2010 study, Reforming the Immigration System.

Utah, Georgia, Indiana and South Carolina are among states that are contemplating or have joined Arizona in passing immigration laws, the ABA notes.

“If enforcement of state laws that are inconsistent with federal immigration law and policy is permitted,” the brief warns, “the result will be a patchwork of statutes and regulations under which decisions about arrest and detention may well depend on whether enforcement activity is being conducted directly by federal authorities, by a state under federal supervision, or by a state under its own, possibly unique, immigration laws.”

The brief is available online here. Oral arguments are scheduled for April 25.

Comments (4)

  • Jim DeLanis
    7:35 PM March 27, 2012

    This is the type of hyper political activity by the ABA that I find offensive. Does the ABA really think that the Justice Department needs its help?

  • Brad Hornsby
    9:04 AM March 28, 2012

    The ABA needs to define its role. Is it a professional organization of attorneys to aid in the practice of law, or is it a political organization to aid certain political beliefs? It has apparently abandoned its original role and decided to advance its liberal agenda. It once decided the military could not interview potential JAGS at law schools since the military followed federal law and discriminated against gays (while the military can now interview on campus, most Christian churches could not). It has taken positions in favor of abortions and against death penalties. Regardless of one’s individual positions on each of these issues, why does the ABA feel it needs to get involved in political discussions and alienate a large percentage of attorneys and the populace?

  • Mary Lou Parker
    9:11 PM March 29, 2012

    I suppose the ABA has no business noticing that the Arizona law is clearly illegal (and “alien” to American ideals).

  • Dlaw
    8:54 AM April 2, 2012

    Im done with the aba, this is why