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. vegas01

    AZ needs to review procedures feds use in detaining illegals and appeal or revise their new law to mirror those practices. Since the premise of the trouble is in the assumption AZ is treating illegal presence or employment as a crime, aligning their practices to those of federal officers would eliminate the argument of establishing new law in that regard. If federal officers can detain non-criminal illegals for potential removal purposes, the judge appears to conclude AZ officers can also. It is declaring it to be a crime that breaches the boundaries of federal sovereignty regarding immigration legislation.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ulises Urbina

    Is it ok to deny transportation to an illegal immigrant who just had some sort of accident? What if this transportation is essential in saving the life of an illegal immigrant? Who is willing to stand up for a law that will deny life saving actions to a person? Any takers.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Johnny

    Will the right wing now obey the law. Judge made the decision. Respect it or leave the state...

    July 28, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Angel

    Putting aside all your political bickering....I was born in Austria, that's my nationality, my parents adopted me in South America, they are American. However, me and my brothers had to become naturalized citizens of the US and we had to go thru the process. WHAT PART OF ILLEGAL DOES NO ONE GET HERE. I have an ideal, let's just open the damn borders and make Mexico a USA state. Problem solved.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. David

    I'd like to know if Judge Bolton has hispanic relatives she's trying to protect!!! From the sounds of if stopping someone to check their immigration status interferes with their liberty and is illegal, then how can the police stop someone at a DUI checkpoint? The police do not know if you've been drinking and stopping someone to find out is like stopping someone to check immigration their immigrations status. I think this judge just opened a whole new BIG bucket of worms?? I would REALLY like to know why we give the illegals every incentive to come here when they are NOT WANTED.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juliemac

      If she didn't she'd lose her pool boy and maid...

      July 28, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. the fixer

    Obama is a traitor guilty of treason against the United States of America for refusing to defend the borders, IMPEACH!

    July 28, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jose

      Assassinate him – I mean "the fixer" not Obama, I like Obama!

      July 28, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Vincente

    1 person overturned a law that was approved by millions...when do we chance our name to the USSA?

    July 28, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. sheriff joe is a joke

    Anyone in law enforcement who enforces the suspended sections of this act risks being charged criminally and sued in civil court.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Steven Webb

    Let them come, let them come... from the corners of the world. We will welcome you, we will work with you, we will help you make your home and family. This great nation of many. We are not racist, we are not cruel to strangers, or travelors. We pray for you to succeed in all you desire to accomplish. Make your way to our shores. We applaud your vigilance and determination for something better for you and your children. We admire your frontier spirit, and your bold quest into a new land. May Jesus bless you, and protect you as you find your way through.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. karen

    Bush and the Repugs. destroyed the world and you people are worried about illegals who have been here for years and years? Ha, Obama admin. has spend more money and manpower on fixing this than any prior Presidents. It's
    big business people, don't you ever get it? They hire them for cheap, and pay their politician buddies big bucks to keep it that way. Ignorance is the only thing most Americans are guilty of. It's all about the money, follow the $$$$$, and you can see why this has never been fixed. duh-

    July 28, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. masson1012002

    We need to just start arresting the bussiness owners and companies that hire illigal immagrants. They are the ones who give reason for illegal immigrants to come into this country any way. If you arrest them for hiring illegal immigrants then they will stop hiring illegal immigrants, and illegals will stop coming into this country because they won't be hired for work. A rock can understand that.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. TW

    democrats or republicans it doesnt matter.
    there is a large voting block represented here called latino and whoever is in power will play up to them especially in an election year. consider these 2 political parties like a chess game. overall objectives will be met even if they have to give up smaller objectives. The overall objective is to stay in power to keep pushing other objectives. So with that said. Nothing will ever change in this country. Too many people both pro and con this debate love the status quo

    July 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DSolomon


    July 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Enough Already

      Very good point! The door swing both ways!!!

      July 28, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Avery Byrd

    I think I will go to Mexico or France, Germany etc... and NOT show any papers and see where it gets me. We live in a democracy that is being "trashed" by politics. Our rights as LEGAL American citizens are slowly being stripped away by political correctness. Pretty soon no one will want to be here illegally because the "free" ride will no longer be provided when we run out of money or are killed by the next 9-11 type plot. Obama needs to get REAL and quit thinking about 2012 and congress needs to get REAL and quick thinking about 2010! Also, when is the federal government going to take pay cuts and reduced pensions like the rest of us to help out with the deficit! Forget about cutting programs start with your PAYCHECKS!!!!!

    July 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. geco2897

    I'm suprised that even on the CNN page 80%+ of the comments I've read are upset about the judges ruling. To the other 20% thats partially happy but somewhat upset it wasn't blocked completely...take heart. The appeals will be held at the 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco so it should work out.
    Also, I you happen to live in California most of the illegals that were fleeing Arizona are headed your way. So if you hurry you can have snacks ready for them when they get there.

    July 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
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