Harris Joins Opposition to Arizona Immigration Law

Photo of: Kamala D. Harris Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing against Arizona’s illegal immigration legislation. The brief argues that decisions about whom to remove from the United States and when to remove them are exclusively the prerogative of the federal government. States may not adopt a competing policy, as Arizona has done. “Although Arizona claims that the law merely assists the federal government in the enforcement of federal law, the Arizona law in fact implements a distinct state policy on removal that supplants federally mandated enforcement priorities and disregards the federal requirement that state assistance in this area proceed under federal oversight,” the amicus brief states. Attorney General Harris, joined by 10 other attorneys general, argued in a brief filed yesterday in the U.S. Supreme Court that it is in states’ interest to have a cohesive federal immigration policy. Oral arguments will be on April 25. California has the largest undocumented immigrant population of any state, 2.5 million (6.8 percent), according to a 2011 report from the Pew Hispanic Center. California also has the largest percentage (9.7 percent) of undocumented immigrants in its labor force at 1.85 million. California was joined in this amicus brief by New York, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. A copy of the brief is online at www.oag.ca.gov
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