Bloomberg News

Utah Immigration Laws Should Be Blocked, U.S. Government Argues

December 16, 2011

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Utah violated the U.S. Constitution by passing a set of immigration laws the state’s governor has called the “Utah solution,” the federal government argued in a request for a court order blocking the measures.

“Utah consciously joined a number of states that have already attempted to set forth their own, often conflicting, immigration policies and enforcement mechanisms,” Justice Department lawyers said in yesterday’s request for a preliminary injunction filed in federal court in Salt Lake City.

The various states’ efforts to create their own immigration policies conflict with the federal government’s exclusive power to regulate immigration, according to the filing. The U.S. also has sued to block state immigration measures in Arizona, Alabama and South Carolina. Utah Governor Gary Herbert, a Republican, signed four immigration bills in March.

Brian Somers, a spokesman for Herbert, didn’t immediately return a call to his office after regular business hours yesterday seeking comment on government’s filing.

The case is Utah Coalition of La Raza v. Herbert, 11-401, U.S. District Court, District of Utah (Salt Lake City).

--Editors: Peter Blumberg, Andrew Dunn

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrew Harris in Chicago at; Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

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