It appears the Department of Justice is putting together a court challenge to Arizona's recently passed immigration law.
At the moment it isn't clear what line of argument the DOJ will use other than it "impedes federal law."
Yet if one actually reads the Arizona immigration law one will find that once a law enforcement official has stopped, detained or arrested an individual and develops a reasonable suspicion the individual is not in the country legally it is incumbent upon the officer to call ICE's 24 hour hotline to verify the individual's immigration status.
To be precise the Arizona immigration law states:
The person's immigration status shall be verified with the federal government pursuant to 8 United States Code Section 1373(c).
And if you take the time to read United States Code Section 1373(c) you will find:
(c) Obligation to respond to inquiries
The Immigration and Naturalization Service shall respond to an inquiry by a Federal, State, or local government agency, seeking to verify or ascertain the citizenship or immigration status of any individual within the jurisdiction of the agency for any purpose authorized by law, by providing the requested verification or status information.
So how exactly does a police officer from Scottsdale placing a call to a hotline established by the federal government for the purpose of verifying an individual's immigration status impede federal law?
It is a matter I address in my latest article which is not yet up on IC's main site but can be found over at The American Spectator. (UPDATE: The article is now up at IC as well).
However, I am under no illusion that you can separate politics from the law anymore than you can take water out of the ocean. If the DOJ challenges the Arizona law and if they get a liberal judge with an axe to grind then watch out.