Reporting from Washington — Critics of the Obama administration’s decision to sue Arizona over its new law to control illegal immigration accuse the government of overlooking a more obvious target: the dozens of cities that called themselves a “sanctuary” for immigrants.
“Everyone has noticed the hypocrisy of the government going after Arizona and ignoring the sanctuary cities,” said Bob Dane, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform. “They have it exactly backwards. Arizona is applying federal law, and sanctuary cities are violating it.”
Justice Department lawyers on Thursday asked a judge in Phoenix to block Arizona’s law from going into effect on the grounds it interferes with federal immigration policy. The law is due to take effect in the coming week.
The Justice Department lawyers say the government wants to catch and deport criminal immigrants, but it does not wish to take custody of hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who are otherwise abiding by the law.