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Brewer seeks dismissal of feds' challenge to SB 1070

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Brewer seeks dismissal of feds' challenge to SB 1070

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Gov. Jan Brewer asked a court to dismiss the federal government's challenge to Arizona's SB 1070 on Monday.

Brewer asked U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton to toss out the Justice Department's suit to block the anti-illegal immigration law, saying the federal government didn't make a case of that it had been harmed by the law.

Brewer's motion says Justice's challenges "misconstrue the applicable law or improperly rely on hypothetical scenarios."

The federal government sued the state three weeks ago, alleging Arizona "crossed a constitutional line" when it enacted SB 1070.

The Justice Department maintains that Arizona law "disrupts federal enforcement priorities and resources that focus on aliens who pose a threat to national security or public safety," and "conflicts with and undermines" national immigration policies, the suit says.

The feds requested a preliminary injunction to stay enforcement of the law. Saying "the power to regulate immigration is exclusively vested in the federal government," Justice asked the U.S. District Court to delay SB 1070 until after the lawsuit is decided.

An earlier lawsuit, filed by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups, alleges the law threatens civil liberties.

Defendants in both cases petitioned Bolton to dismiss claims that the law would directly threaten citizen safety and civil rights.

At a hearing last week, John Bouma, of Phoenix-based law firm Snell and Wilmer, represented Brewer.

Bouma argued that the federal government's failure to curb illegal immigration in Arizona warrants the state's participation in the process.

"Congress isn't doing it, but Congress hasn't told us we can't do it," Bouma told Bolton. "Congress said they want one, national, uniform system and we have one. They haven't done anything to stop the states."

The law requires police to determine the immigration status of suspects they believe are in the country illegally. It also requires law enforcement to determine the status of everyone who is arrested, regardless of whether there is "reasonable suspicion" about their immigration status.

Justice asked Bolton last week to delay SB 1070's enforcement. The law is scheduled to take effect Thursday.

Check back for updates.

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