The Obama administration is escalating its crackdown on tough immigration laws, with lawyers reviewing four new state statutes to determine whether the federal government will take the extraordinary step of challenging the measures in court, the Washington Post reports. Justice Department lawyers have sued Arizona and Alabama, where a federal judge allowed key parts of that state's immigration law to take effect but blocked other provisions. Federal lawyers are talking to Utah officials about a third possible lawsuit and are considering legal challenges in Georgia, Indiana. and South Carolina.
Te level of federal intervention is highly unusual, especially because civil rights groups already have sued most of those states. Typically, the government files briefs or seeks to intervene in other lawsuits filed against state statutes. “I don't recall any time in history that the Justice Department has so aggressively challenged state laws,” said George Washington University law Prof. Jonathan Turley. The legal skirmishing comes as immigration emerges as a defining issue in the presidential campaign and Hispanic voters play an increasingly influential role.