Supporters say it is a necessary get-tough measure by Arizona officials in the face of ineffective federal enforcement efforts along the violent and lawless border with Mexico. They deny it will lead to civil liberties violations.
Last week, President Obama called the Arizona law “misguided,” and instructed administration lawyers to “examine the civil rights and other implications.”
Holder voiced similar concerns. He said the measure was “unfortunate” in that it might give rise to potential “abuse” by law enforcement officials. He declined to offer a more detailed legal analysis of the law’s ability to survive a constitutional lawsuit.
“We are reviewing the law right now,” the attorney general said. “We have a group that has been together over the past few days to examine exactly what our reaction is going to be.”
“What happened in Arizona is that good people are so afraid of an out-of-control border that they had to resort to a law that I think is unconstitutional,” he said during a hearing with Homeland Security chief and former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano.