Watch CBSN Live

Dem. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick: Lawsuit Against Arizona Illegal Immigration Law Is a "Sideshow"

The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the state of Arizona in federal court Tuesday, a direct challenge of the state's controversial immigration law. The federal government will argue that that federal law must take precedence over state law and the Department of Justice has already filed a temporary injunction to delay the law's enactment, slated for July 29th.

Arizona's immigration law is a divisive issue, politically speaking, but for some members of Congress the debate goes well beyond party lines. On Wednesday's "Washington Unplugged," Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) spoke with CBS News Senior White House Correspondent Bill Plante about her reaction to Tuesday's announcement.

"It's very frustrating that the administration's reaction to SB-1070 is suing our state and not dealing with the larger issues. I think this lawsuit is sideshow, distracting us from the real task at hand.", Kirkpatrick told Plante.

Kirkpatrick added, "In Arizona we're ground zero for immigration. This is an issue we deal with on a daily basis."

Plante asked Kirkpatrick her thoughts on what the government should be focusing on instead and Kirkpatrick responded, "We should be securing the border. We won't even get to any of the other issues until we do that. I think all of this is really detrimental to the task at hand, which is dealing with the immigration problem."

Watch Wednesdays' "Washington Unplugged" above, also featuring CBS News Chief Political Consultant Marc Ambinder with reaction to Plante's interview with Rep. Kirkpatrick and the future of embattled RNC Chairman Michael Steele.

"Washington Unplugged,"'s exclusive daily politics Webshow, appears live on each weekday at 2:00 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.

View CBS News In