Last Tuesday Utah joined Arizona, South Carolina and Alabama as states being sued by the U.S Justice Department for their respective immigration enforcement laws. The U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the state of Utah in regards to House Bill 497. The Justice Department is arguing that Utah's immigration law is unconstitutional because it overlaps federal authority, and could potentially lead to the harassment and detention of American citizens and authorized visitors.
A patchwork of immigration laws is not the answer and will only create further problems in our immigration system," said Attorney General Eric Holder in a statement. "The federal government is the chief enforcer of immigration laws ... it is clearly unconstitutional for a state to set its own immigration policy."
Even amidst the new lawsuit, state legislatures remain confident that House Bill 497 will not be demolished by the courts.
"The Legislature worked diligently to craft a law that would pass constitutional muster," said Ally Isom, spokeswoman for Gov. Gary Herbert. "We hope the courts do the right thing."
The U.S. Justice Department is reportedly also reviewing immigration enforcement law passed in Georgia and Indiana.