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Archive for Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Memo: Police can enforce immigration laws

September 7, 2005

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— The Justice Department believes state and local police have the right to enforce federal immigration laws, according to a government memo released today by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU said the Justice Department opinion makes the "sweeping and unprecedented" legal argument that state and local law enforcement officers can arrest anyone who violates a federal law.

"We therefore do not believe that the authority of state police to make arrests for violation of federal law is limited to those instances in which they are exercising delegated federal power," the memo says.

A coalition of civil and immigrants' rights groups received the memo under court order in July after suing under the Freedom of Information Act.

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