Key Parts of Immigration Law in Arizona Blocked
by Charles Lemos, Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 01:59:22 PM EDT
United States District Court Judge Susan Bolton in Phoenix has blocked some of the more controversial parts of Arizona’s immigration enforcement law from going into effect but otherwise ruled that law can take effect. The overall law will still take effect Thursday, but without the some of the more controversial provisions — such as the sections that required officers to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.
The parts of the law that the judge blocked included the sections that called for officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws and that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times. Judge Bolton put those sections on hold until the issues are resolved by the courts.
The judge’s decision, which came as demonstrators opposed and supporting the law gathered here and after three hearings in the past two weeks in which she peppered lawyers on both sides with skeptical questions, seemed unlikely to quell the debate.
The ruling came four days before 1,200 National Guard troops are to report to the Southwest border to assist federal and local law enforcement agencies there, part of the Obama administration’s response to growing anxiety over the border and immigration that has fed support for the law.
Lawyers for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican who signed the law and is campaigning on it for election, were expected to appeal, and legal experts predict the case is bound for the United States Supreme Court.
The law, adopted in April, was aimed at discouraging illegal immigrants from entering or remaining in the state.
It coincided with economic anxiety and followed a number of high-profile crimes attributed to illegal immigrants and smuggling, though federal data suggests crime is falling in Arizona, as it is nationally, despite a surge of immigration.
Seven lawsuits have been filed against the law, challenging its constitutionality and alleging it will lead to racial profiling.
The Justice Department lawsuit was among the more high profile, filed after President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder condemned the law.
Susan Bolton is a Federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Jon Kyl, Bolton was nominated to the United States District Court for the District of Arizona by President Bill Clinton. She joined the court after being unanimously confirmed by the Senate in October 2000.
Below the fold, the full text of Judge Bolton's ruling.