The nation's largest labor group on Tuesday doubled down on its claim that the federal government should cut ties with Arizona law enforcement in the wake of its lawsuit against the state.

The Department of Justice filed a suit Tuesday in Arizona court against the state challenging its controversial immigration law, also known at SB 1070. The AFL-CIO praised the administration's decision in a release, but said that it did not go far enough. 


In May, the group urged Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to eliminate cooperative programs with the state's law enforcement agencies. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka repeated that claim Tuesday, saying it could provide a more immediate solution.

"The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security can — and should — revoke the authority that the Department has delegated to Arizona under the 287(g) program," he said. "Without that authority, Arizona will not be able to implement misguided laws such as SB1070."

The 287(g) program is a partnership between federal and local law enforcement officials that provides federal training for local agents to enforce immigration laws. DHS officials have said that the agreements would actually be more beneficial to local authorities, such as Arizona, because they could receive federal training for which the Arizona law does not provide. 

The statement is a sign that pressure on the administration from both sides could continue throughout the legal proceedings. 

Republicans and Arizona Democrats have both criticized the lawsuit, saying that the state is enforcing federal immigration laws that have been neglected by federal law enforcement. 

Napolitano said in a statement Tuesday that her department will continue to enforce existing laws. 

“We are actively working with members of Congress from both parties to comprehensively reform our immigration system at the federal level because this challenge cannot be solved by a patchwork of inconsistent state laws, of which this is one," she said. "While this bipartisan effort to reform our immigration system progresses, the Department of Homeland Security will continue to enforce the laws on the books by enhancing border security and removing criminal aliens from this country."