Victims' Rights Caucus


As Arizona gears up to begin enforcing its new, controversial immigration law, 81 Republican lawmakers have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reject the Obama administration's effort to block the law.

The friend of the court brief was signed by five U.S. senators and 76 House members, including nine Texans in the House, led by Rep. Lamar Smith of San Antonio. Smith is the senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee and is likely to become chairman if Republicans retake the majority in November's elections.

From North Texas, Rep. Michael Burgess of Lewisville signed the brief. The other Texans are Reps. Ted Poe of Humble, John Culberson of Houston, John Carter of Round Rock (a member of the House GOP leadership), Kevin Brady of The Woodlands, Louie Gohmert of Tyler, Randy Neugebauer of Lubbock, and Michael McCaul of Austin.

The administration asserts that the state law preempts federal enforcement. The brief takes issue with that.

"Arizona has every right to defend itself against illegal immigration," said Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Calif., chairman of the congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, which rounded up the signatures. "The federal government has failed to live up to its responsibility."

Smith, in a written statement, said it was wrong for the administration to sue the state of Arizona.

"The Arizona law is favored by a majority of Arizonans and Americans," he said. "Also the Arizona law mirrors federal law and is only necessary because the Obama administration has failed to do its job. Instead of suing Arizona, the Obama administration should stand up for citizens and legal immigrants, enforce our immigration laws and secure the border."