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. steve

    I am amazed at what some people on the right will believe. You guys would have burned witches in the 16th century.

    July 28, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tet1953

    Why are they wasting money building a fence? They should just take that money and start a shuttle service from Mexico...get 'em in here a lot quicker.

    July 28, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John C

    Typical of today's wingnuts. All there responses are based on "what is best for the GOP", not the law and not the country. "How it play in the next election" does not make a wrong, right. This is why your party is such a disaster when in charge.

    July 28, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. MikeG

    It is very naive to think that this law would not lead to racial profiling. Arizona is a state with a pronounced redneck culture (they call it "Western") that is steeped in closeted racism. Give their cops a tool like this and they will be harassing every brown person within reach. It's a racist law, supported by racists.

    July 28, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Antonio

    To everyone saying can't wait until november... Let's not forget 40% of voters are hispanic is this country... I think it will be worst watch!

    July 28, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Heather

      and that's wonderful! We welcome Hispanics and every other person willing to immigrate legally. Those in favor of the Arizona law are also in favor of LEGAL immigration. PrezO likes to make it about ANY immigration, but is only the ILLEGAL criminals we don't like – those coming over in the cover of darkness with nefarious intent. Racial profiling? How is this any different than showing passports and proof of residency at the airport or train station? It's all about keep us safe.

      July 28, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rob

    Conservatives have no one but themselves to blame. They declared years ago that this was a federal issue when Bush was president, demanding he take action. Now Obama's leader of the federal government and doing just that, taking action. Obama's actually cracking down harder than Bush did.
    Even more ironic that illegal aliens, by and large, have actually committed no crime, technically. And while conservatives will scream 'illegal is illegal', last time I checked torture was illegal, and no one on the right is screaming for an investigation into that...

    July 28, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      So what you're saying is that an individual who enters our country without going through the proper channels is not breaking any law, even though by being here without permission they are violating a federal law?

      Last I checked, violating a federal law makes you a criminal. Plus there's that little thing about being here illegally, you know, not legally.

      July 28, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Gene-- Indiana

    THE USA LOOKS LIKE MEXICO 20 YEARS FROM NOW. GET READY FOR THE CORRUPTION, VIOLENCE AND AMERICAN HEADS BEING CUT-OFF! OBAMA DOESN'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THE SAFETY OF AMERICAN CITIZENS, HE WANTS LATINO VOTES. VOTES MEAN POWER, BOTTOM LINE... OBAMA WILL NEVER SECURE THE BORDER AND PROTECT US.

    July 28, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jake

    vote is clear for Holder

    July 28, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gios

    No Surprise Here.... Uno: The AZ law although correct was challenging the feds on who had the bigger to stick to enforce the law, but as we all know under amendment 14 its only the federal government.. Fail. Dos: Upsetting Latinos is not the best strategy for neither politicians when their political power keeps growing more influential. Tres: Hurting international relations with Mexico is not the best option when this country is the number one exporter to Mexico, and our main source of green!

    July 28, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Happy Right Winger

    So, if you're an illegal alien committing a crime, you can't be asked if you're illegal or not? Maybe that's a "controversial" law to CNN, but not the American people. CNN's bias and lack of balance is a lot more controversial.

    July 28, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Al

    I guess having family members waiting five, ten even fifteen years (my aunt) to immigrate here legally, does not matter. Thanks for the F....ng waiting you imposed on them. I have a better idea just teach your kids from a young age that cutting in line is the way to do things!!!

    July 28, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Another Voice

    This just goes to show that instead of all of this nonsense they need to get to work in reforming the Immigration system that does not work!! The status quo only causes these types of responses from people that know nothing about immigration.

    July 28, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. gwai

    Enough said about Republicans: http://blogs.alternet.org/speakeasy/2010/07/27/prison-lobbyists-working-for-az-gov-brewer-are-set-to-profit-from-immigration-law-she-signed/

    July 28, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Chris

    Police EVERYWHERE profile. I was profiled last week in Arkansas for having Arizona license plates. I was pulled over by State Highway Patrol for virtually no reason (following the vehicle in front of me too closely when the cop was on my a__) and profiled as a gun/drug runner to the point where my car was thoroughly searched...I am a 50 Y.O. white male...All of this discussion and scrutiny is ridiculous on so many fronts...Why dont media and politicians address the REAL issues. Arizona is trying to do the RIGHT thing. They are coming clean (with a law) about a "tool" that LE requires to keep some semblence of order.

    July 28, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Daniel

    I want to see the faces of those NEO-NAZIS weepping because they could not start their ethnic cleansing.

    I cant believe such a racist and stupid law was put together in a country that is all about liberty and justice.

    No more NEO-NAZIS in office!!!

    July 28, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa/FL

      Well Daniel enjoy because now the borders are wide open, your comment also make you racist. Enjoy the US or whatever it will be called.

      July 28, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • John C

      Repeailing this law does not open the borders. This is why we can't address our problems rationally. The right has to lie just to exist.

      July 28, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa/FL

      JohnC, if the Govt is going to allow Mexico's citizens to come illegally then it needs to be fair and not racist. All countries should be allowed in to better their lives, Africa is worse off than Mexico shouldn't we help them as well...just asking since it seems ok for one country but not others, that is racist.

      July 28, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
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