Holder: Race Still in Play for SB 1070 Lawsuit

Attorney general tells CBS the feds are ready to sue for profiling, if the law ever gets enforced.

By Kai Wright Jul 12, 2010

Attorney General Eric Holder says the feds are ready and willing to sue Arizona for racial profiling, if SB 1070 ever actually gets enforced and said profiling occurs. When the Justice Department dropped its lawsuit against SB 1070 last week, the complaint focused on the fact that the Constitution reserves regulation of immigration for the federal government. The problem, [as Daisy Hernandez reported](/archives/2010/07/feds_sue_arizona_over_sb1070.html), is that since the law’s not yet in effect, no profiling has happened. But Holder told CBS’ Bob Schieffer yesterday that the Justice Department will indeed sue for profiling, if the law get that far. [The Hill reports](http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/108075-holder-leaves-open-possibility-of-racial-profiling-lawsuit-on-arizona):

"It doesn’t mean that if the law, for whatever reason, happened to go into effect that six months from now, a year from now, we might not look at the impact the law has had in whether or not to see to whether or not there has been that racial profiling impact," Holder said. "And if that was the case, we would have the tools and we would bring suit on that basis."

But he said that federal law preemption stood the best chance of overturning Arizona’s new law set to take effect on July 29, which requires police to check the immigration status of individuals stopped.

"We have an immigration policy that takes into account a whole variety of things, international relations, national security concerns," Holder said. "And it is the responsibility of the federal government, as opposed to states doing it on a patchwork basis, to decide exactly what it is our policy should be with regard to immigration. And it was on that basis that we filed the lawsuit."