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Public Statements

Harper Comments on Lawsuit Challenging Arizona

Press Release

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Representative Gregg Harper (R--Miss.), a freshman who serves on the House Committee on the Judiciary, expressed disappointment and concern that the Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against the state of Arizona's new immigration law.

In a brief filed in the District of Arizona's federal court, the Obama Administration said S.B. 1070 is unconstitutional and interferes with the federal government's authority to set and enforce immigration policy. The department continues stating that a combination of state and local policies would "seriously disrupt federal immigration enforcement" claiming that Arizona has "crossed a constitutional line" by enacting their own immigration policy.

"It is illegal to be in the United States without proper documentation, plain and simple. Those who are here illegally should have to face consequences," said Congressman Gregg Harper. "Arizona has taken a reasonable and constitutional approach to end this decades-old problem that has continuously been ignored by the Obama Administration. Illegal immigration is a matter of national security."

Harper joined Representative Lamar Smith, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, and 18 other Republican colleagues in criticizing the move by the Administration.

"Arizona's law simply applies state penalties to acts already illegal under federal law," the Republican lawmakers said in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder. "The new Arizona statute is harmonious with federal immigration law and uses current federal criminal provisions as the basis for state criminal provisions."

S.B. 1070 is scheduled to take effect on July 29, 2010.


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