July 28th, 2010
01:19 PM ET

Judge blocks part of controversial Arizona immigration law

A federal judge has blocked one of the most controversial sections of a tough Arizona immigration law, granting a preliminary injunction Wednesday that prevents police from questioning people about their immigration status.

That provision required police to "make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested" if the officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the United States illegally.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton's ruling, in response to a motion filed by the federal government, came with scant hours to go before the law goes into effect.

Read the full ruling (PDF) | What does ruling mean?

She also blocked provisions of the law making it a crime to fail to apply for or carry alien registration papers or "for an unauthorized alien to solicit, apply for, or perform work," and a provision "authorizing the warrantless arrest of a person" if there is reason to believe that person might be subject to deportation.

"We believe the court ruled correctly when it prevented key provisions of SB1070 from taking effect. While we understand the frustration of Arizonans with the broken immigration system, a patchwork of state and local policies would seriously disrupt federal immigration enforcement and would ultimately be counterproductive," the Department of Justice said in a statement. "States can and do play a role in cooperating with the federal government in its enforcement of the immigration laws, but they must do so within our constitutional framework.

"This administration takes its responsibility to secure our borders seriously and has dedicated unprecedented resources to that effort. We will continue to work toward smarter and more effective enforcement of our laws while pressing for a comprehensive approach that provides true security and strengthens accountability and responsibility in our immigration system at the national level."

Seven lawsuits are seeking to block implementation of the law, signed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer in April. It is to go into effect Thursday.

Watch: Gov. Brewer reacts to preliminary injunction

The law also targets those who hire illegal immigrant laborers or knowingly transport them.

Opponents say the law will lead to racial profiling, which is illegal.

Supporters point out that the law prohibits racial profiling and people cannot be stopped and asked for proof of legal residence based solely on their looks.

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Filed under: Arizona • Immigration
soundoff (827 Responses)
  1. Tiller In Texas

    Throw this Woman off the Bench, she is not a representative of American Law. Can we exile this BIT$H to mexico????????????

    July 28, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. starzzguitar

    Illegal activity is now legal. But don't be so happy, all you libs. The animosity towards illegals will now be ratcheted up, and the anger against supporters of illegal immigration will wipe out the Democratic Party come this November!

    July 28, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Carrie

    There is no way around this people, Obama wants the vote....I say we throw his a** in AZ for about a month.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Vette

    I am more than pleased that that part of the law was blocked. Bravo to this judge, for blocking the most obscene part of this ridiculous law! You can't look at a Hispanic and tell who is and isn't from here. As we can't look at Blacks and tell who is and isn't from here. Just like we can't look at whites and tell who is and isn't of this country! What is wrong with you people! If there are going to throw people in jail or those makeshift jail, and I pray that most or all of them are legal, so they can get sue crazy in this state! This governor is evil and as vile as they come! I wonder where her ancestors are from! Stupid IDIOT! She reminds me of Sarah Palin!

    July 28, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • stickyd8

      this is why you're an idiot! That's not what the law says. It says the police have the right to ask for proof of citizenship if they have already stopped a person for breaking another law or committing a crime! Do you really want to take up for people breaking laws and committing crimes? Hmmmm....As far as racial profiling, there is and always will be some type of racial profiling that occurs in every day law enforcement...against white and blacks! What they should do is put a seal of citizenship on everyone's valid driver's license and make it mandatory for EVERY person to show their identification when they are pulled over or commit a crime....similar to the way I have to show my driver's license and proof of insurance if I get pulled over for anything. Then there wouldn't be any racial profiling. Either your Official ID card or Driver's License would state it right on it! I'm sure this would be considered wrong too, right?

      July 28, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bazoozoo

    It seems to me that if the people breaking the law are Mexicans crossing the border illegally from Mexico into the US that to ask a Mexican to see proof of citizenship is not racial profiling, but common sense. It's no different then when we ask US citizens to see their passport when we travel. I'm not a liberal or conservative, but an American who wants to see Americans get restored to a standard of living that doesn't break our backs and souls before giving anymore to people who are here illegally. Stop funding programs to any non citizen, and put that money into programs for Americans, and then maybe you can make an effort to help others after the charity starts at home.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. twysted

    So, in a nutshell, the feds biggest objections to the Arizona law are that it's the fed's job to enforce immigration laws and Arizona enforcing it's own immigration laws will "burden" the federal system?

    Uh, if the feds were doing their job the Arizona law would have been unnecessary, and, if the requests for information from Arizona regarding immigration data is too overwhelming we have a country FULL of people, legal residents/citizens who are looking for work!

    This is not a democratic or republican issue, it's an AMERICAN issue that is just finally getting the attention it should have gotten 30 years ago! If they can't prove they are here legally they should be on the next bus back to Tijuana, period, end of story.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. vegas01

    This ruling is a win for immigration reform, as the judge has brought to light deficiencies in the federal law regarding what is and is not presently designated as a crime relevant to illegal presence in the US.
    Dear Congress, we need legislation introduced tomorrow to establish the criminal offense of presence in the US without authorization or to work in the US without authorization. As this judge has expressed, unfortunately our laws focus on criminalization of those lawfully here and effected by illegals, than those entering in illegally. We need to send a resounding message to all who would enter, remain or work illegally in the US that this is a crime against our nation and its lawful citizens and residents. Any member of Congress unwilling to remove this absence of justice should be removed from office.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Real World Soldier

    Read and Weap you WARTS (White Angry Republican Teabaggers)

    "U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton ruled that the federal government "is likely to succeed" in its challenge of the legality of one of the most controversial sections of the Arizona law."

    Another defeat for the Grand Ole Party.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • vegas01

      You seem to have missed the point made by the judge. Her objections were based on the fact that federal as established does not specifically criminalize (make it a crime) to be present or work illegally in the US. I would speculate that virtually every American would assume the exact opposite; that is would be a crime to illegally enter, remain or work in the US. However, as the judge points out, it is merely a "removable" (deportable) offense.

      July 28, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. BC

    Did anyone read the ruling? It says the Federal Government is not likely to succeed on it's merits. The ruling does go on to say that the law could do the Federal Government irrepable harm in the injunction is not used and allows for more time to review the law.

    Basically – AZ law looks good legally but just in case to cover my rear end – I am going to issue an injunction. Supreme Court – here it comes – after a couple more Judges do the same thing.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • vegas01

      With all due respect, I think you misread the ruling. The judge found no fault in the basic premise of the law, however, AZ law treats illegal presence or employment as a 'crime' in her opinion. Since federal law does not presently specify illegal presence or employment as a crime, in that respect, AZ law is in a sense 'legislating the criminalization of illegal presence or employment." Since the federal government has the authority to legislate regarding immigration, AZ would likely lose based on supposedly treating illegal status as a crime.

      July 28, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mike

    Perhaps the AZ police will follow this ruling as well as the Justice Dept has followed existing federal law.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Richard Satterfield

    Striking down the AZ law says one thing: we are not citizens, we are economic units.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Eric

    Someone needs to get a bunch of people together with some guns and go and clean out those ghettos.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. stickyd8

    Everyone for banning the Arizona law doesn't live in Arizona nor have they truly had to witness or live every day of their life fighting against illegal immigration. Liberals want everyone to live in peace, yet they have no answer of how to support all of the illegals that are not paying taxes that help support our schools, government and infrastructure. We are doomed. I hope every illegal immigrant shoots at least one Liberal or person who supports the ban of the AZ law!

    July 28, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Justin

    The problem with the law is that it doesn't fix the problem. Instead of making band-aid fixes, what should be done are laws HARSHLY punishing companies that knowingly hire illegals. So long as there is opportunity for illegal migrants, they WILL COME. You have to hit the source to stem the flow.

    Make each worker knowingly hired a 100,000 USD fine and see how long it takes for companies to PROPERLY check immigration status....and for illegal immigrants to find out they aren't going to be hired here.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  15. karen

    Well, well all my Hispanic friends and brown colored people of all backgrounds. Looks like you don't have to carry your
    "papers" with you after all. Finally, an intelligent judge who probably just see's this as politics as usual. Wait until after the midterm elections, you won't hear another word about this issue.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
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