Posted on December 15, 2004

Goddard Concludes Prop. 200 Is Constitutional

Elvia Díaz, Arizona Republic (Tucson), Dec. 14

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard has concluded that Proposition 200 is consistent with federal law and thus a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionally of the illegal-immigration measure has no merit.

Goddard filed his opinion Monday with U.S. District Court Judge David C. Bury. The judge blocked implementation of the measure until Dec. 22,when he will hear evidence for and against the measure, which voters approved Nov. 2.

Goddard, who earlier concluded Proposition 200 applies only to welfare benefits, said in court papers that the federal government bans undocumented immigrants from receiving certain benefits. Further, state and local governments are required to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

“We disagree with Goddard’s opinion,” said Daniel Ortega, one of the lawyers who filed the federal lawsuit by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “We believe the initiative violates federal law because it turns state government workers into immigration agents.”