DETROIT -- States have the authority to enforce immigration laws and protect their borders, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox said Wednesday in a legal brief on behalf of nine states supporting Arizona's immigration law.
Cox, one of five Republicans running for Michigan governor, said Michigan is the lead state backing Arizona in federal court and is joined by Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Virginia, as well as the Northern Mariana Islands.
The Arizona law, set to take effect July 29, directs officers to question people about their immigration status during the enforcement of other laws such as traffic stops and if there's a reasonable suspicion they're in the U.S. illegally.
President Barack Obama's administration recently filed suit in federal court to block it, arguing immigration is a federal issue. The law's backers say Congress isn't doing anything meaningful about illegal immigration, so it's the state's duty to step up.
"Arizona, Michigan and every other state have the authority to enforce immigration laws, and it is appalling to see President Obama use taxpayer dollars to stop a state's efforts to protect its own borders," Cox said in a statement.