White House Challenges Ariz. Immigration Law

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The Obama administration took action on Tuesday to block Arizona's controversial law on illegal immigration.
The U.S. Justice Department filed a federal lawsuit against the state, just weeks before the measure goes into effect.
According the White House, the law requiring police to question possible illegal immigrants, oversteps federal authority.

"Laws like Arizona's put huge pressures on local law enforcement to enforce rules that ultimately are unenforceable," President Obama said.

CBN News spoke with constitutional law expert and Regent University professor Bradley Jacob about the debate over Arizona's immigration law and whether the federal suit will hold up in court.  Click play for his comments.

However, Arizona state leaders said the federal government is not doing enough to secure the U.S. - Mexico border, so the Grand Canyon State has to constantly fight crime perpetrated by illegal immigrants.
Many Arizonans have argued that the new law is a step towards fixing an immigration problem that is out of control.
The American Center for Law and Justice told CBN News the state is within its legal right to address the illegal immigration problem.

"President Obama has admitted that the federal government has failed," ACLJ chief counsel Jay Sekulow said. "And when the federal government fails to act and do it's job, the Constitution is clear in the 10th Amendment there are powers reserved to the states. That's part one."

"Part two -- Arizona is not trying to enforce immigration," he continued. "They're not saying you can come into the country and you can't come into the country."

"What they're saying is to employment, employers, to those who are here illegally, 'If we know that you are here illegally, we're going to do something about it because [the] Immigration and Customs Enforcement office....has said that they don't have the time to handle every single immigration issue that comes about,'" Sekulow explained.

"So when the federal government admits they can't do their job... that opens the door for states like Arizona to say... 'We're going to take charge. We're going to do something about it," he said.
Meanwhile, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he is moving forward despite the federal lawsuit.

"I'm going to continue enforcing the federal and the state immigration laws," Arpaio said.
Last week, the president argued for comprehensive immigration reform and criticized Arizona's law, calling it ill-conceived and divisive.          
"I invite the president to come to the border, and he can see for himself the absolute necessity of getting our border secure before more violence spills over onto our side of the border," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. said.

Republican lawmakers have denounced the Obama administration's challenge of Arizona's new immigration law
In the meantime, other states are watching to see how the legal battle plays out.  A win for Arizona could pave the way for similar laws in other states.

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Efrem Graham

Efrem Graham

News Anchor & Reporter

Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at Facebook.com/EfremGrahamCBN.