Arizona Law on Hold
POSTED: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 - 8:21pm
UPDATED: Thursday, July 29, 2010 - 8:38pm
It’s normally pretty hot in Arizona this time of year, but especially now since the state has decided not to wait on Uncle Sam to enforce border security.
The new Arizona immigration law has drawn protests and a federal challenge, but state officials have stuck to their guns.
The law, known by its bill number, SB 1070, gave local law enforcement the authority to check on and ultimately act on the immigration status of suspected illegal s.
It was to set to kick in Thursday, but a judge has put the kibosh on that for the time being.
US Federal Judge Susan Bolton has issued an injunction on key provisions of the Arizona immigration law.
The judge, who was appointed by President Clinton after being recommended by Senator Jon Kyl, says the injunction will apply until the issues are resolved by the courts.
Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard said,“The federal government stepped in and said no no, you can’t do that. We’ve got the supremacy clause to the Constitution and we don’t want 50 different immigration laws, we can just have one. So our answer to that is, fix the one you’ve got.”
The items now held up are the portions of the law that allow police officers to check the immigration status of anyone they stop for other reasons.
Foreigners will not now have to carry documents proving their status, and it will not be illegal for undocumented workers to solicit employment in public places.
Governor Jan Brewer is predictably angry and points out that the Arizona law mirrors federal law on the subject.
“Well, obviously, this is a little bump in the road I believe,” Brewer said. “And until I get my whole arms around it, we won’t really know exactly where we are going to go. We knew regardless of how it would go today that one side or the other side was going to appeal. So this begins the process.”
The bone of contention with the Justice Department though, is not whether the law goes too far, but whether it is an individual state duty or a federal one.
“My opinion is that the Arizona law is unconstitutional,” says Eleanor Pelty of American Immigration Lawyers. “The constitution makes it clear that immigration is an area where the federal government tends to occupy the field.”
That decision will no doubt ultimately end up in the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, one outspoken Arizonan says, he’s not going to change. “We’re just going to keep doing our job like we’ve been doing,” Says Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Other sections of the law can go into effect, but without these key provisions, they will be virtually undetectable.
Meanwhile, the protests may continue, but the issue now moves from the patrol car to the courtroom.