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Goddard Urges Federal Government Not to File Immigration Lawsuit, Vows Vigorous Defense if Suit is Brought

(Phoenix, Ariz. -- May 28, 2010) Attorney General Terry Goddard today urged lawyers from the U.S. Justice Department not to file a federal lawsuit against Arizona’s new immigration law.

In a meeting at the Attorney General’s Office, Goddard told the federal government’s lawyers that Arizona “needs solutions not lawsuits.” He said that if the federal government decides to bring a lawsuit, “Arizona will fight back.” The new law will take effect July 29.

The Justice Department lawyers came to Phoenix to meet with state officials as a precursor to possibly filing a suit that would challenge the constitutionality of the law, also known as Senate Bill 1070. The federal lawyers made clear that no final decision has been made about filing a suit. Five challenges to the law have already been brought by private plaintiffs.

Goddard will defend the State and himself in the lawsuits. In addition, Goddard today intervened on behalf of the State in a suit brought by a large group of plaintiffs against county officials challenging SB 1070.

Rather than bringing additional litigation, Goddard again urged the Obama Administration to implement comprehensive border reform.

"The people of Arizona are deeply frustrated by the federal government's inability to enact comprehensive immigration reform," he said. "It is time for members of Congress to stop dithering, stop playing partisan politics and address the problem."

For more information, contact Molly E. Edwards at (602) 542-8019.