Federal government calls SB 1070 "unconstitutional"

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PHOENIX -- Saying federal law trumps state law, the Department of Justice formally filed a lawsuit against Arizona over its controversial new anti-illegal-immigration law Tuesday. While the move was not unexpected, it has sparked an outpouring of opinions from those on both sides of the issue.

Polls show fairly widespread support for Senate Bill 1070, both here in Arizona and nationwide. Opponents, however, have been vocal and visible.

SB 1070 requires local and state law enforcement to question people about their immigration status if there's reason to suspect they might in the country illegally, and makes it a state crime to be in the United States illegally.

The federal government is arguing that enforcing immigration laws is a federal responsibility, not a state one.

Nobody disagrees with that, but Gov. Jan Brewer and other SB 1070 supporters say Arizona has to step up because the federal government is not enforcing immigration laws or doing enough to secure the border.

Brewer signed SB 1070 into law back in April. At this point, it is slated to take effect at the end of July. That, however, could change depending on what happens with the DOJ lawsuit.