Black Moves to Block Fed Challenges to State Immigration Laws

The House on Wednesday passed a measure by Republican Rep. Diane Black that would prevent the Obama administration from challenging state immigration laws in court, reports The Tennessean.
The measure, an amendment to a bill that would fund the Justice and Commerce Departments and other agencies for fiscal 2013, passed 238-173. It would forbid the Justice Department from spending money on lawsuits challenging state immigration laws.
“There are over 10 million unauthorized aliens in this country, and states must be able to enforce the law if the federal government refuses to,” Black said on the House floor Tuesday. “The states should not have to live in fear of federal retribution for trying to keep their citizens safe.”
Black’s amendment came to the floor just two weeks after Arizona’s controversial immigration law made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Justice Department said that law — which gives the police broad power to detain people suspected of being in the country illegally — conflicts with federal immigration policy.
Five states have passed similar laws, and the Justice Department has filed suit against three of them: Alabama, South Carolina and Utah. Georgia and Indiana also have passed laws. Parts of the laws are on hold pending the Supreme Court’s ruling, which is expected in June.

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