Judge bars parts of Arizona immigration law
A federal judge on Wednesday barred the most controversial parts of Arizona’s immigration law, S.B. 1070, from going into effect until a final court decision is reached in the federal government’s lawsuit against the state that seeks to overturn the law. Specifically, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton blocked the part of the law that would require law enforcement officers to determine the immigration status of people they believe are in the country illegally, a clause that requires legal aliens to carry their proof of residency with them at all times, and the section that makes it illegal for undocumented workers to solicit employment in public places.
“The court finds that the United States is likely to suffer irreparable harm if the court does not preliminarily enjoin enforcement of these Sections of S.B. 1070 and that the balance of equities tips in the United States’ favor considering the public interest,” Bolton wrote in her decision. Bolton says the enjoined sections of S.B. 1070 placed too much burden on legal immigrants “because their liberty will be restricted while their status is checked.” “Given the large number of people who are technically ‘arrested’ but never booked into jail or perhaps even transported to a law enforcement facility, detention time for this category of arrestee will certainly be extended during an immigration status verification,” Bolton wrote. “Under Section 2(B) of S.B. 1070, all arrestees will be required to prove their immigration status to the satisfaction of state authorities, thus increasing the intrusion of police presence into the lives of legally-present aliens (and even United States citizens), who will necessarily be swept up by this requirement.”
Also, Bolton wrote that the increase in requests for immigration status confirmation from the state as a result of the law would “impermissibly burden federal resources and redirect federal agencies away from the priorities they have established.”
It is Arizona’s residents that would be irreparably harmed if S.B. 1070 is blocked, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said in her response filed July 20 in federal court to the request by the U.S. Department of Justice to enjoin enforcement of Arizona’s immigration law. “[S.B. 1070 is] Arizona’s legitimate and constitutionally permissible response to the crushing personal, environmental, criminal, and financial burdens thrust upon the State as a consequence of illegal immigration and the lack of comprehensive enforcement activity by the federal government and certain Arizona ‘sanctuary’ cities,” Brewer wrote. “My filing today makes clear that the federal government will suffer no harm if S.B. 1070 is implemented because the act requires only that Arizona’s law enforcement officers act in accordance with their constitutional authority and congressionally established federal policy.”