(Associated Press) Federal authorities have asked an appeals court to reject Arizona’s bid to overturn a ruling that bars enforcement of a minor section of the state’s 2010 immigration law prohibiting the harboring of illegal immigrants.

The U.S. Justice Department told the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a Dec. 27 filing that Arizona’s harboring ban is trumped by the federal government’s broad immigration powers and that federal law already prohibits people from harboring illegal immigrants within the United States.

“It is the national government that has ultimate authority to regulate the treatment of aliens while on American soil because it is the nation as a whole, and not any single state, that must respond to the international consequences of such treatment,” Justice Department lawyers said in a friend-of-the-court brief.

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