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Vermont Joins 11 State Coalition At U.S. Supreme Court In Opposition To The Arizona Immigration Law

CONTACT: William H. Sorrell, Attorney General, (802) 828-3173

March 28, 2012

Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell, along with the Attorneys General of New York, California, and eight other states, joined a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that U.S. immigration policy may be set only by the federal government and that Arizona’s illegal immigration legislation is inconsistent with, and preempted by, federal law.

Arizona’s law requires its State law enforcement officials to engage in enforcement activities to detain and arrest individuals who appear to be undocumented immigrants, without regard to federal immigration priorities. The Arizona law also criminalizes any work, effort to work, or failure to comply with federal registration requirements by undocumented immigrants.

“When I issued the Bias-Free Policing Model Policy for adoption by Vermont Law Enforcement, I said that ‘Vermont is not Arizona’”, said Attorney General Sorrell. “I remain supportive of law enforcement efforts on federal immigration issues, but only if consistent with federal priorities.”

The states’ brief argues that Congress has made clear that the federal government has the exclusive authority for setting a nationwide immigration policy with specific enforcement priorities. The brief also argues that allowing states to set individual state priorities would result in diversion of federal resources from the priority areas set by the federal government, such as enforcement against dangerous criminals.

Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Rhode Island joined Vermont, New York, and California on the brief.

  Website consulting provided by The National Association of Attorneys General.