DOJ Lawsuit Against Utah’s Immigration Law Exposes Administration’s Blatant Political Agenda, Says FAIR
(November 23, 2011 — Washington, D.C.) - On Tuesday, Utah became the fourth state sued by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for trying to enforce federal immigration laws that the Obama administration refuses to enforce. According to the DOJ complaint, H.B. 497 is preempted by federal authority over immigration policy and is therefore unconstitutional.
While DOJ has acted aggressively to prevent implementation of H.B. 497, a law that mirrors federal immigration statutes, the department declined to challenge another Utah law, H.B. 116, which grants guest worker status to illegal aliens residing in Utah beginning in 2013, even though the Immigration and Nationality Act expressly forbids the employment of illegal aliens. In a statement, DOJ acknowledged that the guest worker provisions are “clearly preempted by federal law,” but said it would not pursue legal action because the department is engaging in “constructive conversations” with Utah about the law.
“Tuesday’s action by the Department of Justice makes it clear that the administration’s lawsuits against states that try to enforce immigration laws have nothing to do with preserving the federal government’s authority over immigration policy,” charged Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). “It is about the Obama administration’s determination to make sure that no one enforces immigration laws that they do not want enforced.
“DOJ’s excuse for not suing Utah over its guest worker law – which it admits is unconstitutional – is transparent,” Stein continued. “In declining to take action, DOJ is selectively choosing which state laws to attack based on the administration’s political agenda. Neither the Executive Branch, nor the state of Utah, has any authority to grant guest worker status to illegal aliens. Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security, working in conjunction with DOJ, is pursuing its own back door amnesty program to grant amnesty and work authorization to millions of illegal aliens.”
“The obvious double standard DOJ is applying in Utah – suing the state to prevent it from enforcing immigration laws, while giving it a pass on its guest worker law – reveals the administration’s true agenda. DOJ is being used to punish and intimidate states that interfere with the administration’s effort to grant backdoor amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, while American taxpayers foot the bill,” Stein concluded.