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Mexico Files Brief in AZ Immigration Case

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By Jason Beahm on June 30, 2010 2:02 PM

Mexico has now weighed in on SB 1070, Arizona's controversial immigration law set to take effect July 29.  Mexico filed an Amicus Curiae brief arguing that the measure is not only unconstitutional, but that it will also create a substantial strain between US and Mexican government relations. SB 1070, which we have discussed here on multiple occasions, is a new law that makes it a violation of Arizona law to be in the state illegally.

Critics of the law say that it will lead to racial profiling and it improperly attempts to usurp federal authority. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the law and has vocally supported it, disagrees. She argues SB 1070 simply mirrors federal law which requires immigrants to carry immigration papers and does not believe that the law will lead to racial profiling.

SB 1070 has already led to several lawsuits filed in federal court arguing that the law is unconstitutional and authorizes racial profiling. In filing the Amicus brief, Mexico agrees, citing imminent "challenges to the bilateral diplomatic relations between Mexico and the U.S," that will result if the law goes into effect. Mexico fears that millions of legal immigrants will be harassed, arrested and even detained even if they have not broken any laws or otherwise indicated that they should be suspected of committing a crime.  "Mexico has a duty to protect its citizens and ensure that their ethnic origin is not used as a basis for committing discriminatory acts," the Mexican foreign ministry said in a statement, according to the BBC.

President Obama has criticized the law, calling it "misguided," and Attorney General Eric Holder has announced that the U.S. Government will challenge the law, which polls show is backed by a majority of citizens

As Ruben Navarrette Jr., recently wrote in a special guest piece for CNN, the law will likely be challenged on that basis that it violates Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, which enumerates the powers bestowed to Congress. Among them: the authority "to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization."

We will keep you posted as the matter continues to develop. The case certainly has the potential to make it to the U.S. Supreme Court, which begins its next session in October. 

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