Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Federal judge blocks worst provisions of Arizona's fascist-style immigration law

Good news from the Grand Canyon State:
U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton has issued a preliminary injunction preventing several sections of Arizona's new immigration law from becoming law, at least until the courts have a chance to hear the full case.

Key parts of Senate Bill 1070 that will not go into effect Thursday:
  • The portion of the law that requires an officer make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested if there's reasonable suspicion they're in the country illegally.
  • The portion that creates a crime of failure to apply for or carry "alien-registration papers."
  • The portion that makes it a crime for illegal immigrants to solicit, apply for or perform work. (This does not include the section on day laborers.)
  • The portion that allows for a warrantless arrest of a person where there is probable cause to believe they have committed a public offense that makes them removable from the United States.
Unfortunately, renegade Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County has already decided to go ahead and mount a crackdown on Thursday (tomorrow), hinting he'll instruct police forces under his command to enforce the law's harsh provisions regardless of what Bolton orders. And ironically, he's threatening to jail those who interfere.

So basically, he's going to punish those who practice civil disobedience by locking them up, whilst pulling an Andrew Jackson himself. Yeah, that makes perfect sense (well, it does to a radical right wing reactionary whose only allegiance is to an uncompromising strict-father worldview).

The text of Judge Bolton's order is available from our document vault. It's pretty satisfying to open it up and see that the case is titled United States of America, Plaintiff, v. State of Arizona, and Janice K. Brewer, Governor of the State of Arizona, in her Official Capacity, Defendants.

In deciding to only set aside parts of SB 1070, Judge Bolton reasoned:
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has concluded that allowing a state to enforce a state law in violation of the Supremacy Clause is neither equitable nor in the public interest. Cal. Pharmacists Ass’n v. Maxwell-Jolly, 563 F.3d 847, 852-53 (9th Cir. 2009); Am. Trucking Ass’ns, Inc. v. City of L.A., 559 F.3d 1046, 1059-60 (9th Cir. 2009). If Arizona were to enforce the portions of S.B. 1070 for which the Court has found a likelihood of preemption, such enforcement would likely burden legal resident aliens and interfere with federal policy. A preliminary injunction would allow the federal government to continue to pursue federal priorities, which is inherently in the public interest, until a final judgment is reached in this case. See Am. Trucking, 559 F.3d at 1059-60.
The White House has not yet commented on the ruling, with Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton telling reporters on Air Force One that "I don’t think that changes how ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] functions or how the Department of Homeland Security sees its role there."

The Department of Justice is, however, expected to react, and when a statement is available, I will update this post with the text of it.


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