Donors send millions to help defend Arizona immigration law

Donors have sent more than $3.6 million to Arizona to help defend its immigration law, according to The Wall Street Journal. The law makes illegal immigration a state crime and requires police to check the immigration status of anyone they stop if they suspect that person is in the state illegally.

Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.) signed the Arizona Senate bill in April, and in May, she signed an executive order creating the Border Security and Illegal Immigration Defense Fund to raise money from private citizens to help pay the state's legal costs.

Arizona started to receive a flood of out-of-state donations after the Obama administration filed suit over the statute in July, saying it was unconstitutional and interfered with federal authority.

Timothy Mellon, an heir to a Pittsburgh steel and banking dynasty, donated $1.5 million to the legal-defense fund. More than 42,000 people have contributed to support the right to enforce the law, with most donating between $20 and $100. Donations have come from all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Candidates in more than 25 states have said they would draft similar laws if elected.

Arizona has paid more than $441,000 in legal fees. If the case goes to a higher court, attorney fees could reach $10 million.

Date : 10/28/2010