Reaction to Department of Justice lawsuit:
"The American people must wonder whether the Obama administration is really committed to securing the border when it sues a state that is simply trying to protect its people by enforcing immigration law. The Obama administration has not done everything it can do to protect the people of Arizona from the violence and crime illegal immigration brings to our state. Until it does, the federal government should not be suing Arizona on the grounds that immigration enforcement is solely a federal responsibility.' -- Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl.
"Federal lawyers arguing with state lawyers will do nothing to strengthen border security or to fix our broken immigration laws. The supreme irony of the lawsuit is its premise that SB 1070 intrudes on the federal government s responsibility to enforce immigration laws. Had the federal government taken that responsibility seriously in the past, neither today s lawsuit nor the state law that prompted it would be necessary.' -- U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
"The lawsuit is prudent and necessary. Prudent because you have to defend the constitutional prerogatives of all of us, including the federal government. And necessary because you have to test this law. And even the most ardent supporter, whether it's Jan Brewer or Russell Pearce, I hope after they took an oath of office to defend the constitution, would want to make sure they're defending and implementing the law that passes constitutional muster.' -- U.S. Rep Raul Grijalva
"This lawsuit is a sideshow, distracting us from the real task at hand. A court battle between the federal government and Arizona will not move us closer to securing the border or fixing America s broken immigration system. The legal fights and boycotts are drawing focus and attention away from what has to be a policy-driven, substantive debate.' -- U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick.
"Rather than challenging the Arizona law, the Obama administration s time would be much better spent working with Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform that would address the nation s underlying immigration problems. Arizona's new law will likely spawn a patchwork of new immigration laws around the country. This isn't an optimal approach. However, the response cannot be a patchwork of federal challenges. It needs to be comprehensive immigration reform. -- U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake
"What we need are solutions, not lawsuits. Until we get real solutions, more states will turn to band-aid remedies to address this very important issue. It is disappointing to see the federal government choosing to intervene in a state statute instead of working with Arizona to create sustainable solutions to the illegal immigration issue that our state and country so desperately need.' -- Attorney General Terry Goddard
"The administration's lawsuit is a cannon shot across the bow of other states that may be tempted to follow Arizona's misguided approach,' -- Lucas Guttentag, attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union.
"Arizona's demagogue leaders have scapegoated immigrants, subordinated Latinos' civil rights, and fallen down a slippery slope. They have received a free pass for too long in part because they have engaged in persecution of a class of people they have tried to dehumanize and deem 'illegal.' ' -- Pablo Alvarado, director of National Day Labor Organizing Network.
"The Obama administration has demonstrated that it will, following in the footsteps of its strongest predecessors, take action to preserve our longstanding constitutional plan, which has fostered our development into the great nation that we have long been. Gov. Jan Brewer cannot be permitted to pervert federal policy priorities and obstruct national progress all in the name of political pandering.' -- Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
"I welcome the filing of the federal lawsuit which is designed to get a quick answer from the court on this issue. No one can deny that Arizona has borne a particular burden caused by the slowness of federal authorities, including Congress, to address this issue. Nevertheless, I believe the quickest way to get the preemption issue resolved is by the federal lawsuit.' -- Pinal County Attorney James Walsh.
"We are already seeing and hearing immigrant and Latino families who are afraid to call on law enforcement. This fear frays the relationship between law enforcement and communities and makes their jobs more difficult.' -- Jennifer Allen, executive director, Border Action Network.
"The concerted scapegoating of immigrants by some Arizona Republicans has poisoned our political environment, endangered our community, moved our nation further away from needed immigration reform, and above all, it has imperiled the civil rights of all Arizonans. Thankfully, the courts will have the last word.' -- Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox.
"The federal government has failed to protect the people of Arizona from illegal aliens, so the state government, quite sensibly, moved to fill the void. This lawsuit should fail because it is based on the absurd assertion that Arizona should be punished for enforcing federal immigration laws which our current president and current attorney general have no interest in enforcing.' -- Former congressman and current U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Hayworth.
"Instead of sending a sufficient number of National Guard troops and financial resources to secure the border, President Obama is sending lawyers.' -- Republican gubernatorial hopeful Buz Mills.
-- Capitol Media Services