Posted by on July 29, 2010 in Blog

With enforcement of Arizona's notorious immigration law, SB 1070, set to begin today, a Phoenix district court judge ruled yesterday to put the law on hold.  Judge Susan Bolton enjoined the most controversial sections of SB 1070. Bolton agreed with the Department of Justice’s law suit claiming the federal government has principal authority to both enforce immigration laws and create immigration policy.She also found that Arizona’s attempt to usurp this responsibility directly interferes with federal enforcement and would ultimately undermine the federal government’s immigration priorities (ex. drugs and human trafficking).

Judge Bolton recognized the senior law enforcement officials in Arizona who have stepped forward to voice how SB 1070 negatively effects their relationship with the community, and understood their discomfort with being expected to become immigration experts and enforcers overnight with little or no additional training.  "Requiring Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies to determine the immigration status of every person who is arrested burdens lawfully-present aliens because their liberty will be restricted while their status is checked," Judge Bolton ruled.  She also acknowledged the additional strain SB 1070 would place on already limited federal resources.  

The provisions she enjoined promote racial profiling of immigrant communities and violate the civil liberties of Americans and include:

Section 2B

Requires that an officer make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person is unlawfully present in the United States, and requiring verification of the immigration status of any person arrested prior to releasing that person.

Section 3

Requires an immigrant to carry alien registration papers at all times.Section 5CMakes it a crime for an illegal immigrant to solicit, apply for, or perform work.

Section 6

Authorizes the warrantless arrest of a person where there is probable cause to believe the person has committed a public offense that makes the person removable from the United States.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has already said that she will "battle all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary, for the right to protect the citizens of Arizona."  It is our hope this court ruling sets a precedent to the rest of the states considering passing copy-cat immigration laws and puts added pressure on our law makers to make comprehensive immigration reform a priority.  We’ll keep you posted.