Everyone in Arizona can put away their birth certificates for the time being.
Less than a day before Arizona’s controversial racial profiling law was supposed to go into effect, U.S. federal judge Susan Bolton has granted a partial injunction on SB 1070.
Ruling on the Department of Justice lawsuit — United States of America vs. Arizona — Judge Bolton prohibited key aspects of the new law from going into effect, including Section 2, which requires law enforcement to determine the immigration status of people stopped, detained or arrested based on “reasonable suspicion,” and Section 3, which made it a crime to not apply for and carry papers. In addition, Judge Bolton enjoined the portion of SB 1070 that makes it a state crime for undocumented immigrants to seek work. And finally, she blocked the warrantless arrest of persons that may be deemed deportable.
However, due to the fact that Judge Bolton was ruling only on the lawsuit filed by the DOJ, several questionable aspects of SB 1070 still stand, including provisions for state officials to work with federal agents to remove undocumented immigrants from the country. The portion of the law allowing legal residents to sue any state official, agency, or political subdivision for not enforcing federal immigration laws, which puts an undue burden on law enforcement, still stands.
An appeal from the state of Arizona will land SB 1070 in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, deemed the most liberal federal appeals court in the United States. The parts of SB 1070 that Judge Bolton struck down are unlikely to survive in the Ninth Circuit.
The United States 1 – Arizona 0. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that we need immigration reform on the federal level to put a stop to the insanity of states making their own patchwork on immigration laws.
The role of the legal system is to uphold the law, but in order to win on immigrant rights, we need to change the laws that make some of us less equal than others based on arbitrary factors like skin color and country of citizenship.
Photo Credit: quixoticlife