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California lawmakers sue state controller for docking their pay for late budget

In another brazen move to cheat California, state lawmakers have sued Democratic State Controller, John Chiang, for withholding nearly $5,000 each (12 days or a total of $600,000) of loss pay and expenses for failing to balance the state’s budget on time.

Years of fighting over a balanced budget each year led California taxpayers to pass Proposition 25, allowing a simple majority vote to pass a budget instead of the two-thirds requirement. The catch, lawmakers have to send the governor a budget on time or face loss of pay.

Lucky for taxpayers and unlucky for lawmakers, the first year this law was implemented, the budget was late. Lawmakers contend they were unaware their first budget was flawed and that the state’s expenditures did not match revenues. Nevertheless, the first budget was rejected by Governor Jerry Brown (D), because it underfunded public schools to the tune of $1.3 billion.

However, the Democratic majority in Sacramento decided to renege on the law and will sue the state. John Perez, assembly speaker, said he was going “to clarify the constitutional role of the California State Controller.”

Of course, the lawsuit will not only cost the taxpayer’s money, but the Democratic lawmakers have retained independent lawyers who will invoice… the taxpayers.

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© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Justice Dept. sues Arizona Sheriff Arpaio for not cooperation in a civil rights investigation

And the hits just keep on coming in Arizona, first the federal lawsuit against the state for cracking down on illegal immigration’s SB1070, then the Justice Department sues Arizona Maricopa County Community Colleges and now America’s toughest Sheriff Joe Arpaio is on the receiving end of a lawsuit from the federal government.

The lawsuit filed earlier today by the Justice Department accuses Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio of stonewalling the federal government with their probe into possible policies that include discrimination against Hispanics.

The Arizona Sheriff’s office has been at odds with federal prosecutors for improperly contacting employees at the sheriff’s office instead of going through lawyers as federal law mandates.

Sheriff Joe has been pro-active when it comes to illegal immigration and often refers to illegals as “lawbreakers.”

Eric Holder, of the Justice Dept. has been gunning for Arpaio since he took over with the Obama Administration.

The new lawsuit came as especially good news to the civil-rights groups who have wanted to fire the extremely popular sheriff; who has in the last few elections grabbed approximately 70 percent of the vote.
Nevertheless the added notoriety of Sheriff Joe hasn’t hurt his support with Maricopa County residents.

One Democrat, Ruth Burke says, “I wish people would leave him alone, he is just doing his job.”
But it’s precisely his job of arresting illegal immigrants and turning them over to federal law enforcement for deportation that open-border advocates are trying to prevent.

However, according to the lawsuit filed in Phoenix federal court, Maricopa County Sheriff’s office gets millions of dollars in federal funding and is required to cooperate with federal investigators in order to keep that money.

The pettiness of the federal government’s lawsuit even cited a public statement that Arpaio made claiming he wouldn’t cooperate with the government’s fishing expedition.

Sheriff Arpaio and the Maricopa Sheriff’s office lawyer, Robert Driscoll, had no comment on the lawsuit filed today.

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Feds file another lawsuit against Arizona over requiring "green cards" for jobs

In an effort to undermine Arizona’s illegal immigration laws once again President Obama’s Administration through the Justice Department filed a suit against the state’s practice of asking for green cards before they hire immigrants for jobs.

The Justice Department claims that a network of community colleges acted in an illegal manner by requiring noncitizens to provide their green cards before they could begin their employment.
The lawsuit against the Phoenix metro area Maricopa Community Colleges slams the state with yet another distraction while Governor Jan Brewer runs for reelection and tries to get the economy turned around for its residents.

The Justice Department is also investigating America’s toughest Sheriff; Joe Arpaio who has continued his campaign against illegal immigration raids after a refined SB1070 became Arizona law.

According to The Washington Post, the newest lawsuit finds, Justice Officials accused Arizona community colleges discriminated against nearly 250 noncitizen job applicants by mandating that they fill out more documents than required by law to prove their eligibility to work. The Department said this violated the federal Immigration and Nationality Act.

The law’s anti-discrimination provisions “makes it unlawful to treat authorized workers differently during the hiring process based on their citizenship status,” said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for Justice’s Civil Rights Division. He said the government “is acting now to remedy this pattern or practice of discrimination.”

The I-9 Immigration form itself recites that “It is illegal to discriminate against any individual (other than an alien not authorized to work in the United States) in hiring, discharging, etc.”

A review of the combination of documents from which the employee may choose places the employer in a clear paradox, since none of the documents in the allowed combination prove the employee’s right to work in the United States, but the employer is required to attest “that to the best of my knowledge the employee is authorized to work in the United States,” says one legal expert.

The mystery of the employee’s right to work in the United States could be resolved simply and easily by having the employee present the “green card” which establishes the right of the employee to work or not in the United States.

Currently employers are subjected to fines and imprisonment for hiring employees who are not authorized to work in the United States (ICE raids), but their options to verify the legal status of the prospective employee is hindered by a “smoke and mirrors” instruction that elicits responsibility but withholds the means.

The Federal government has been operating the “E-Verify” system for some time, which provides a quick determination of the prospective employee’s right to work in the United States.

“Through E-Verify, U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States – either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization.”

This diverse workforce can contribute to the vibrancy and strength of our economy, but that same strength also attracts unauthorized employment by not having a universal worker identification number.

The newest lawsuit in Arizona was filed on behalf of Zainul Singaporewalla, a U.S. permanent resident who was offered a math teaching job at the Glendale Community College, but was asked to fill out another form with current immigration status, the lawsuit explained.

That special form required more documents and a copy of a green card. When the potential employee couldn’t find the green card, the suit said, the college would not let Singaporewalla work.

The federal government is asking the judge within the Justice Department unit to make the Maricopa colleges to pay a civil penalty of $1,100 for each of the 247 non-U.S.-citizen job applicants it says were requested to provide additional paperwork.

The Maricopa Community Colleges staff declined to comment on the new lawsuit.

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A judge extends the deadline for a class-action lawsuit for veterans who suffered PTSD

A lawsuit was established to get much-needed care and monetary compensation for veterans who suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the Middle East Wars has extended the deadline allowing more veterans to sign on to the pending ligation.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) veterans by the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) and pro-bono counsel Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. Military veterans who were discharged between December 17, 2002 and October 14, 2008 are eligible to join the class-action lawsuit if they think they were short-changed with their military separation benefits.

Judge George W. Miller of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims signed an order giving eligible veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan until November 10, 2010 to join (or “opt-in to”) Sabo v. United States.

The agreement reached with the military services could establish veterans who join the lawsuit a disability rating upgrade and expedited records review which could result in improved health care for veterans and their families.

There are approximately, 42 percent, or 1,835 veterans, who signed and sent in “Opt-in Forms” before the extension. At least 2,623 other veterans are eligible to join the lawsuit and become class members, according to NVLSP.

While the extension was welcome news for the law firm that brought class-action lawsuit against the government, other veterans questioned the need for any deadlines when it comes to treatment and care combat veterans.

Since the Veteran Affairs has relaxed its rules on PTSD/TBI, this case should be held in abeyance until Department of Defense and VA get their act together and then use it to force compliance if long delays continue to plague veterans, one Marine said.

“More than a third of the eligible veterans are severely disabled, with VA disability ratings for PTSD of 70 to 100 percent,” said Bart Stichman, co-executive director of the NVLSP. “It’s not easy for them to understand the legal notice and what are the advantages of joining the lawsuit, even though they stand to potentially gain significant lifetime financial and health care benefits for themselves and their families.”

Stichman also said NVLSP plans to continue calling eligible veterans for the next three months, and is encouraging families and friends of eligible veterans to get involved on behalf of OIF/OEF veterans.

“Anyone who knows an Iraq or Afghanistan veteran discharged between December 17, 2002 and October 14, 2008 because of PTSD should ask if he or she has received a legal notice and opted into this lawsuit,” said Stichman. “These veterans and their families were treated unjustly and denied the benefits to which they were entitled. This is about getting them the lifetime military benefits that they have earned and deserve. More information is available at”

Eligible veterans who join the lawsuit are entitled to review of their PTSD disability rating by the military on a priority basis, a guaranteed correction of military records to show a higher military disability rating for PTSD for the six-month period following the date of release from military service, as well as a determination of whether the new rating should be permanently increased, decreased, or remain the same after the six-month period, a NVLSP statement read.

As a result of an increase in their military rating for PTSD, class members could receive back pay of disability benefits, reimbursement for healthcare expenses the military should have covered, as well as a higher amount of future benefits to which they and their families are entitled –the judgment could potentially provide millions of dollars in additional benefits over time.

“The disability ratings which are the subject of the lawsuit are critically important to ensuring veterans receive the benefits which they have earned and deserve,” NVLSP explains. “For years, the law has required the military to assign a disability rating of at least 50 percent to all veterans discharged for PTSD. A permanent disability rating of 30 percent or more entitles a veteran to monthly disability benefits for the rest of the veteran’s life, to free lifetime health care for the veteran and his or her spouse, and to free health care for their minor children.”

Requirements veterans must meet to join the class-action lawsuit include;

1. Veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Air Force.
2. Veterans who were found by a Physical Evaluation Board to be unfit for continued service due to or at least in part, to PTSD.
3. Veterans who were assigned a disability rating for PTSD of less than 50 percent.
4. Veterans who were released, separated, retired, or discharged from active duty after December 17, 2002, and prior to October 14, 2008 (regardless of whether such release, separation, retirement, or discharge resulted in the individual’s placement on the Temporary Disability Retirement List).

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Showdown in the desert- Arizona vs. Barrack Obama

It’s D-day in the Grand Canyon state. The full force of the federal government, with its deep pockets, will attempt to thwart Arizona from controlling their out-of-control illegal immigration problem.

After weeks of speculation, threats and pandering, the citizens of Arizona will finally have their day in court. The Obama Administration claims Arizona Governor Jan Brewer should be restrained from enforcing AB1070, an illegal immigration law that closely mirrors the federal government’s law, for two main reasons.

The government contends Arizona is pre-empting federal immigration law with the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government and therefore, the states, including Arizona are pre-empted from exercising any jurisdiction over immigration matters, according to US Immigration and Naturalization Activity – Title 8 United States Code §1101 et seq.).

The second claim deals with the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Federal law, when pertaining to the U.S. Constitution and treaties with foreign nations is the Supreme Law of the Law and “trumps” any state action, according to Article VI, Clause 2.

These two legal postulates have been used successfully by the federal government in a wide variety of proceedings to retain the federal government’s exclusive jurisdiction over certain subjects in order to ensure there is uniformity and consistency in the interpretation and execution of U.S. law throughout the federal and state jurisdictions.

For example, U.S. courts have determined that the federal government has exclusive jurisdiction to establish and enforce certain standards in drugs, foods, auto safety, etc., and therefore, the states are “preempted” from exercising jurisdiction over these areas of exclusivity, which would cause confusion and conflict in commerce and law.

Also the government’s case says the Commerce Clause of the Constitution has been widely recognized as the first application of the Supremacy Clause and it continues to be asserted today in the control of the airways for telephone, internet, and emergency broadband and AM/FM broadcasting.

However, it must be noted that Arizona has not directed that local law enforcement personnel screen people at the U.S./Arizona border with Mexico, but rather, it has restricted its application of federal immigration law within state jurisdiction and has not asserted any rights pertaining to the international border with Mexico.

The striking difference with the AB1070 case, is that the U.S. is seeking to restrain the Governor from enforcing Arizona law, exclusively within the jurisdiction of the state, and which is based expressly upon the enforcement provisions for U.S. law enforcement personnel, on the grounds of preemption and Supremacy, as though the Congress and Constitution expressly forbade dual enforcement of U.S. Immigration Law.

In the past the federal and state law enforcement personnel have worked together on immigration matters. The only difference now is that Arizona is now directing its law enforcement personnel to actively pursue immigration inquiries in certain circumstances, as opposed to the prior “dual” jurisdiction with federal officers, wherein an immigration matter arose, as a collateral or inadvertent aspect of a state legal action.

Notwithstanding a strict compliance of AB1070 with current federal immigration laws and regulations, the Obama administration somehow reaches the conclusion that only federal law enforcement is able to enforce federal immigration law without having a “chilling effect” on Arizona’s population, despite a long history of dual jurisdiction.

And lastly, the “chilling effect” would only extend only to illegal immigrants, who have no First Amendment rights, because a citizen of Arizona would be free from any threat of deportation. Therefore the “chilling effect” applies only to illegal immigrants, who have entered the U.S. illegally, remain in the U.S. illegally and would be subject to deportation on a daily basis.

For illegal immigrants, there is a constant threat of being deported, but certainly enforcement of federal immigration by Arizona law enforcement will not lessen that fear nor abridge any Constitutional protections of Arizona’s legal residents, who are required by law to carry their residency permits.

Some at ICE see Arizona law as a must enforce law

When it comes to the folks who actually are responsible for enforcing the countries’ immigration laws, recently-retired ICE agent John Sakelarides, a 25 year veteran, says the government is falling down on the job when it comes to illegal immigration and protecting the nation’s borders.

“The thrust of the Eric Holder and Barack Obama’s lawsuit against Jan Brewer and the people of the state of Arizona is that Arizona is allegedly usurping federal authority and interfering in the federal government’s presumed exclusive authority to determine immigration policy and exclusive authority as to immigration enforcement,” Sakelarides says.

“However, cities such as New York, San Francisco, Denver, and many others, as well as some states have engaged in sanctuary policies which also appear to not only usurp the federal government’s presumed exclusive authority to enact immigration policy and enforcement priorities, but they do so in blatant violation of federal criminal law.

“It’s an obvious contradiction that cannot be overlooked. The question that has been repeatedly asked is ‘Why are Holder and Obama suing Arizona for trying to enforce the law that the federal government repeatedly refuses to enforce, while they allow cities to actively assist and harbor illegal aliens?’”

“There is a big difference between a state or locality saying they are not going to use their resources to enforce a federal law, as so-called sanctuary cities have done, and a state passing its own immigration policy that actively interferes with federal law,” Tracy Schmaler, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Eric Holder told The Washington Times. “That’s what Arizona did in this case.”

The real answer is that there is absolutely no interest by the Obama administration to enforce the current immigration laws, no interest in securing the border, no interest in honoring the wishes and demands of the people for whom they work for, according to Sakelarides.

“The rationale behind this is that they are seeking political power and hoping to cash in on ‘future democratic votes.’ However, the law prohibits foreign nationals in participating in American elections. The right to vote is an exclusive right reserved to citizens. In fact, if an alien votes in an election, that act is a ground for being deported. It also requires that the alien make a false claim to U.S. citizenship which is a federal felony under 18 USC 911,” Sakelarides summed up.

Members of Congress weigh in

The Arizona lawsuit hasn’t escaped the attention of 81 members of Congress who filed a friend of the court brief supporting Arizona. These bipartisan lawmakers agree Arizona has the right to protect its residents from an avalanche of illegals crossing into the Grand Canyon State seeking refuse from the over-the-top drug cartel violence and a shot of gaining employment.

“Arizona has every right to defend itself against illegal immigration,” said Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA), chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus. “The federal government has failed to live up to its responsibility to enforce federal law concerning immigration, and Arizona’s law does not preempt federal statutes. It is time to stop playing politics, roll up our sleeves and get to work on a bipartisan immigration bill that addresses America’s border security, goes after employers who exploit illegal immigrants and reduces identity theft.”

Bilbray continued to explain, “I stand by my claim: the bipartisan Immigration Reform Caucus is ready and willing to meet with President Obama to address bipartisan and meaningful immigration reform.”

Arizona Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) stated, “President Obama is going to end up having to sue several states, including Rhode Island and others, if the Administration wants to sue everyone who tries to enforce immigration law. This is in addition to the numerous other states who have either introduced legislation similar to Arizona’s (such as Michigan, South Carolina, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania,) and as many as 15 others have expressed a desire to pass a law similar to SB 1070.

Furthermore, the Administration’s lawsuit is politically disastrous, since more than 55 percent of Americans disagree with the lawsuit. The American people want an effective, enforced federal immigration policy and secure borders. The last thing this ridiculous lawsuit is doing is making our laws more clear or our border more secure, and President Obama must continue to hear that the Members who signed this brief, along with the American people, strongly oppose the ongoing politicization of this serious national security and federal immigration issue.”

Ranking Member of the Committee on the Judiciary as well as vocal illegal immigration advocate Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) said, “The Obama administration is wrong to sue the State of Arizona. The Arizona law is favored by a majority of Arizonans and Americans. Also the Arizona law mirrors federal law and is only necessary because the Obama administration has failed to do its job. Instead of suing Arizona, the Obama administration should stand up for citizens and legal immigrants enforce our immigration laws and secure the border.”

In conclusion

While there are legitimate issues on both sides of the illegal immigration issue one thing remains clear, America is a nation of laws.

The polls also remain crystal clear as the majority of Americans support Arizona’s lawmakers and residents rights to enforce immigration laws.

Another symptom associated with illegal immigration is the cost taxpayers’ end up paying for in food stamps, housing subsidies and health care. Illegal immigration costs the United States an astounding $113 billion a year or an average of $1,117 for every legal resident household in the U.S., according to a recent study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

The study also reported that this the “first and most detailed look at the costs of illegal immigration ever done,” says Bob Dane, director of communications for FAIR.

As the dynamite is about to be lit in the state of Arizona, the immigration fuse may be the precursor to a calamity of upsets in the November mid-term elections.

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The country weighs in on Arizona illegal immigration lawsuit

The ink is barely dry on the Federal lawsuit against Arizona’s new illegal immigration law and politicians from both sides of the isle are ready to lay claim to the right or wrongness of the divisive issue.

First up is Chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus, Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA); “The lawsuit highlights the failure of the federal government to enforce immigration laws. Calling for an injunction to stop Arizona from enforcing the law only compounds this failure.”

The highly-contentious immigration law closely mirrors the federal government’s policy on illegal immigration enforcement and experts across the board see the legal injunction as a political ploy.

“Pointing fingers at the communities who are trying to make a difference only makes matters worse. The time for political posturing is over. It’s time roll up our sleeves and get to work on real reform,” Bilbray explained. “When President Obama wants to sit down with the Immigration Reform Caucus to develop a strategy on moving forward, we will be ready to work with him.”

House minority leader, John Boehner (R-OH) repeated a growing chorus of lawmakers concerns, “The federal government shouldn’t be suing Arizona – it should be helping Arizona.”

The Obama Administration contends the lawsuit will challenge the Arizona illegal immigration law on the basis of its Constitutionality. The case will be heard by an Arizona federal judge on July 22, who was appointed by former President Clinton. Amnesty advocates hope to at least stall the law from being enforced on July 29th.

In a statement from the Department of Justice, officials claim the law “interferes with the federal government’s authority to set and enforce immigration policy.”

However, Arizona’s Congressman Harry Mitchel, a Democrat, accused the Obama Administration of “political posturing.”

Looking to the latest Fox News Opinion poll, 52 percent of the country favors Arizona’s law while only 27 percent oppose the law, once again leaving the President out of step with most Americans. The poll also identified poll numbers by political party and found 73 percent of Republicans, 57 percent of Independents and 30 percent of Democrats favored Arizona’s new law. Even more interesting is a Denver Post poll that found 62 percent of Hispanics favor the new Arizona law.

It doesn’t matter if lawmakers in Arizona are Republican or Democrat most side with their state. Case in point is Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick who went ‘On the Record’ saying she was very disappointed that the Obama Administration has chosen to take a security issue and make it political. “I think we should get together… rather than have a lawsuit, let’s get to the table and work out a plan that secures the border and fixes immigration.”

Emboldened Governor Jan Brewer (R-AZ) said, “The filing (lawsuit) is nothing more than a massive waste of taxpayer funds. These funds could be better used against the violent Mexican cartels than the people of Arizona.”

The governor goes on to say, “The irony is that President Obama’s Administration has chosen to sue Arizona for helping to enforce federal immigration law and not sue local governments that have adopted patchwork of sanctuary policies that directly violate federal law.”

At the White House press briefing, Robert Gibbs was asked that very question and quickly replied, “I’ll have to get back to you.”

Critics as well as proponents agree that this case will ultimately be heard in the nation’s highest court when they resume the fall session. As such, the make-up of the Supreme Court would certainly come back with at least a 5-4 decision in favor of Arizona right to enforce illegal immigration within their state’s borders.

Equally mad at the Obama Administration are Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) who also issued a joint statement regarding the Administration’s lawsuit against;

“It is far too premature for the Obama Administration to challenge the legality of this new law since it has not yet been enforced. Most legal experts believe such a ‘facial challenge’ to the statute would be very difficult to win. Moreover, 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 statement continues to imply that Attorney General Eric Holder speaks of the “‘federal government’s responsibility’ to enforce immigration laws; but what are the people of Arizona left to do when the federal government fails in its responsibility? 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.”

Another symptom associated with illegal immigration is the costs taxpayers end up paying for in food stamps, housing subsidies and health care. Illegal immigration costs the United States an astounding $113 billion a year or an average of $1,117 for every legal resident household in the U.S., according to a new study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

The study also reported that this the “first and most detailed look at the costs of illegal immigration ever done,” says Bob Dane, director of communications for FAIR.

In the past FAIR has testified before Congress on numerous immigration issues.

Many open border/amnesty groups were quick to slam FAIR’s latest report and said their study conflicts with the Perryman Report, a 2008 study that found illegal immigration did not hurt the U.S. economy.
Regardless of opinions, the DOJ’s case itself goes after Arizona’s right to enforce a ‘pre-emption’ part of federal law and stayed clear of the racial-profiling claim the government originally chided state lawmakers with.

Nevertheless legal gurus argue the pre-emption has been waived by the federal government’s failure to act. After all, all the Arizona law did was empower state law enforcement with the same criteria as Border Patrol, but within the Grand Canyon State not without.

It’s worth pointing out the 10th amendment reserves to the states those powers not specifically “granted” or enumerated to the federal government, including a waiver to act.

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Federal government to serve Arizona with a lawsuit today

U.S. Department of Justice sources have confirmed that Attorney General, Eric Holder plans to file a lawsuit against Arizona’s tough illegal immigration law SB1070.

The controversial illegal-immigration law gives local law enforcement officers the tools they need to enforce the federal immigration law that is set to be enforced later this month. Arizona’s Governor, Jan Brewer plans to take this fight all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.

The government’s lawsuit argues that Arizona’s new law requires state and local law enforcement agencies to question illegal immigrants about their legal status in conjunction with another crime, like traffic stops. The federal government contends the new law usurps federal authority.

However, legal gurus argue the pre-emption has been waived by the federal government’s failure to act. After all, all the Arizona law did was empower state law enforcement with the same criteria as Border Patrol, but within the Grand Canyon State not without.

The 10th amendment reserves to the states those powers not specifically “granted” or enumerated to the federal government, including a waiver to act.

The lawsuit sets out to block Arizona’s new law that is favored by more than 60 percent of the state’s residents, and draws President Obama into another divisive issue.

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