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. Jaime

    I'm part of La Raza but don't support illegal immigrants.

    July 28, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Frustrated Immigrant...

    I find this whole situation soooooo frustrating! I am a legal US resident immigrated from Canada. When Canadians are in this country illegally, there are no human rights groups going to all this effort to make sure we aren't deported. Why is it wrong to think that immigration laws need to be enforced. I am married to an American had to stay out of the US for 2 years while they processed my visa, pay 2000.00 get medicals have background checks. Hello!!! What Arizona is proposing is exactly what should be happening what about the rest of us that have to do things the legal way. I don't see the ACLU or any other human rights groups coming to the defense of any other immigrants from any other countries other than Latino's. Immigrants of other nationalities would never get the same defense as what is going on in Arizona now.

    July 28, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa/FL

      How is Canada,, seriously thinking of moving.

      July 28, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      This isn't about illegal immigrants it's about the due process rights of citizens and other legal residents of this country. You can't just go around asking people to prove their citizen because you think they "look" foreign. People are innocent until proven guilty. Arizona is putting its cart in front of its horse with an assumption of guilt. Never mind usurping powers reserved for the federal government.

      July 28, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MartinSA

    this doesn't really say that the law has been defeated–just that the law can't be enacted (in part) until after the Courts decide.

    July 28, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sgriffith60

    So sayeth those who cannot stand to see a black man in office! Agreed, the immigration is the domain of the federal government. Someday Sheriff Joe will find has ass in jail. Arizona has a lot of illegal immigrants true...they also have a lot of White Racists as well...and I am white. I used to live in Arizona for 15 years, so I know of what I speak! Madhatter, you are an idiot!

    July 28, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Toby K

      Incorrect Sgriffith, you're the idiot

      July 28, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. The Thinker

    Is it Racist for me to say that the Race that is Predominately in Prison are blacks when data from 2008 dictates that:

    The racial composition of the US prison and jail population as of 2008 was 33.44% White American (non-Hispanic), 20.29% Hispanic, 40.21% African American (non-Hispanic), and 6.06% Other (American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander American, and Multiracial American)

    As you can see, blacks are the highest percentage race that is Prison, by calling my statement Racism than you are saying it is Illegal to say what is the Truth.

    Is it Racist for me to say that most Illegal Immigrants are from Mexico when data from 2008 dictates that:

    The illegal immigrant population of the United States in 2008 was estimated by the Center for Immigration Studies to be about 11 million people, down from 12.5 million people in 2007.[2] According to a Pew Hispanic Center report, in 2005, 57% of illegal immigrants were from Mexico; 24% were from other Latin American countries, primarily from Central America;[3] 9% were from Asia; 6% were from Europe; and 4% were from the rest of the world.

    Wow, look at that, 57% are from Mexico, It's not racial Profiling....its the truth.

    July 28, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jason

    Why do people always turn political topics into a "I'm a Republican and I hate Democrats!" or "I'm a Democrat and I hate Republicans!" ragefest? Can't we just discuss the issue instead of playing the blame game and turning this into a territorial dispute? For the record, I'm a Democrat and I support the immigration law. Not all people of a party affiliate share 100% of the same views.

    July 28, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Imagine that

    Well just another slap in the face to the people that live here legally. Might as well tell all the terrorist also that the coast is clear come on in.

    July 28, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. flaminia

    sad day for America, we let illigals the the governments they left rule your courts.

    July 28, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. 14daGipper

    This is a victory for the haters of America! This judge should be convicted of high crimes and misdemeanors against the people of Arizona and the people of the United States. Shame on this woman! We need to move to have her immediately disbarred, and dishonored!

    July 28, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jamie

      Ha ha that Arizona judge showed these racist conservatives who's really in charge. lol

      July 28, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. snickers

    go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-go arizona-

    July 28, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tina in TX

    If the federal government and now judges do not enforce our laws, where does that leave us???

    How long are we going to take this????

    I don't remember this quote word for word but it goes something like this........

    Who is the greater sinner? The evil man who commits evil, or the good man who stands by and does nothing??

    July 28, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Heather

    THIS IS NOT JUSTICE! The bill was modeled word for word after the existing Federal immigration law. Corruption abounds in Washington. The DOJ is a disgrace and so is the Obama Administration!

    July 28, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Amen Am I allowed to say that on here????

      July 28, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. James

    Shouting at Democrats that this is about getting votes is as effective and honest as DEMs shouting at the right that this is racism. Neither is true – both are unhelpful attempts to paint the other side as the boogey-man. We have what amounts to a large refugee population, that lives under the radar. Existing immigration law essentially created the situation by being an impractical morass that lots of people – on both sides of the border – consider to be arbitrary and unfair. Enforcement – even if ramped up considerably – will never turn around a situation where entire population segments are on the move. We need a realistic set of laws that are simple enough that the average person from Mexico finds it reasonable to comply – while the average employer in the US also finds it reasonable. Until those two pieces are dealt with – this situation will not change.

    July 28, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • bongolock420

      This is probably the most sensible thing anyone posted here.

      July 29, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  14. US Citizen

    WE ARE ALL SORRY ARIZONA, THANK IDIOT OBAMA, AND CLINTON FOR PICKING THIS LIBERAL JUDGE.

    July 28, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. John

    The government dragged it's feet years ago and AZ now has a problem with Illegals, now that AZ wants to fix the problem, the government is doing backflips to prevent them from resolving it. First of all, they are called illegal aliens for a reason, two; everyone seems to think it's always poor "good" people trying to get in the US, try checking out the majority of S. CA jail population..........we're importing criminal gang members, drug dealers by the hundreds. I say let any persons who want to get in the US go thru the legal immigration like everyone else and wait your turn. The US is not the free buffet of the world, our own legal citizens are struggling here too with jobs, credit cards and mortgages. If this law goes into effect, law enforcement can only run legal status if the suspects have committed a crime first. What intelligent person would want to keep an illegal criminal in the US?? Hello, we ave enough criminals here in the US, we don't need to start importing them.

    July 28, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
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