U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton issued a preliminary injunction against parts of Arizona’s new immigration law Wednesday, the day before the law went into effect, blocking key parts from being implemented.
“…[The] Court cannot and will not enjoin S.B. 1070 in its entirety, as certain parties to lawsuits challenging the enactment have requested,” Bolton’s filing stated. “The Court is obligated to consider S.B. 1070 on a section by section and provision by provision basis.”
Going over the bill on a section-by-section basis, Bolton implemented the injunction on a specific provision that has been the subject of debate in recent months.
This section requires officers to determine the immigration status of persons detained and arrested if the officer believes them to be in the country illegally.
In the injunction order, Bolton wrote “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 in check.”
Other blocked statutes include one that requires immigrants to carry their “alien identification papers” with them at all times, and a statute that criminalizes attempts to seek work without said papers.
Evelyn Cruz, a clinical professor for the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law, said the injunction keeps the status quo.
“Basically, [the injunction] has prohibited the activities that would involve the federal government [from] collaborating with Arizona in carrying out the checks on immigration status of individuals arrested [who are] subject to 1070 statutes,” Cruz said.
Following the injunction, Gov. Jan Brewer filed an expedited appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday.
“America is not going to sit back and allow the ongoing federal failures to continue,” Brewer said in a statement explaining her actions. “We are a nation of laws and we believe they need to be enforced. If the federal government wants to be in charge of illegal immigration and they want no help from states, it then needs to do its job.”
In a response to Bolton’s injunction, Brewer said she was disappointed with the judge’s decision.
“This fight is far from over. In fact, it is just the beginning, and at the end of what is certain to be a long legal struggle, Arizona will prevail in its right to protect our citizens,” Brewer said. “I am deeply grateful for the overwhelming support we have received from across our nation in our efforts to defend against the failures of the federal government.”
With legal battles to be fought on both sides of the law, Cruz said the decision could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“It is not a unique problem for Arizona,” Cruz said, saying that while there are thousands of undocumented migrants in the state, there are millions of them in the country. “It presents a lot of issues regarding jurisdiction and sovereignty of states vis-à-vis the federal government.”
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