A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit brought by Somos America against Maricopa County, arguing the immigrant-rights group failed to show how the county attorney’s prosecutions under the state anti-human smuggling law are unconstitutional.
County Attorney Andrew Thomas’ interpretation of the state law, that it allows smugglees to be prosecuted as well as the smuggler, has been politically controversial but not legally so. The courts have repeatedly upheld that interpretation.
“This ruling sends an important message that local government has the will and the legal means to address the illegal immigration problem in a manner harmonious and consistent with federal law,” Thomas said in a prepared statement.
Somos America, which filed this lawsuit in 2006, is involved in legal actions against the state employer sanctions law and against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office over its immigration enforcement.
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