July 28th, 2010
01:16 PM ET
8 years ago

Judge blocks enforcement of parts of Arizona immigration law

Phoenix, Arizona (CNN) - With scant hours to go before a controversial Arizona immigration law goes into effect, a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction Wednesday against the implementation of parts of the law.

There are seven lawsuits seeking to block its implementation. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton made her ruling on a lawsuit filed by the federal government.

The law, signed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer in April, requires police to question people about their status if they have been detained for another reason and if there's reason to suspect they're in the United States illegally. It also targets those who hire illegal immigrant laborers or knowingly transport them. It is to go into effect Thursday.

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.

In addition to the U.S. Justice Department, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Coalition of Latino Clergy, the Christian Leaders League of United Latin American Citizens and other individuals or groups have asked the judge to halt the law, commonly known as SB 1070. Bolton heard arguments in the case last week from the Justice Department and the ACLU.

The separate hearings were held in Phoenix, where Bolton sits on the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.

Bolton's courtroom was packed during the two July 22 hearings and protesters chanted outside throughout the afternoon.

Seven protesters were arrested on civil disobedience charges, according to the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

The legal arguments revolved around a range of issues, including racial profiling, effective enforcement and possible harm to Arizona's citizens.

Attorneys from the Obama administration presented their case at the second hearing. The administration's challenge contends Arizona's law would usurp federal supremacy on immigration.

Brewer attended the hearing.

Arizona has argued that the federal government has not done a good job of securing the border.

"A law unenforced is no law at all," said state attorney John Bouma.

The American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of civil rights groups argued earlier in the day that the controversial law amounts to racial
profiling and will have a profound effect if it goes into effect.

"It treats people of color as suspects first, rather than citizens," attorney Karen Tumlin said after the hearing.

Bouma said the law would not treat people unfairly.

"These are hypothetical arguments. Local police are enforcing immigration laws all over the country," he told Bolton.

Those in favor of the law say SB 1070 is consistent with federal law.

They say the law explicitly prohibits racial profiling and they are challenging the legal standing of many of the groups opposed.

They also contend opponents of the law have not been able to show there will be any harm from its implementation.

During the first hearing, Bolton said the law has a section allowing parts to still take effect even if other parts are struck down, according to CNN affiliate KNXV.

Tumlin, managing attorney for the National Immigration Law Center, and other lawyers and foes of SB 1070 repeated assertions that Arizona's law should be rejected.

"We are here to defend the rights of those who cannot stand up for themselves," said Terri Leon, CEO of the Friendly House, which supports the legal challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Bolton heard a challenge to SB 1070 by an Arizona police officer the previous week.

Read the full ruling here [pdf]

Filed under: Arizona • Immigration • issues
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Whatever

    So Brewer what do you have to say now?!?!?!!!

    July 28, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. Steve (the real one)

    Which parts, please!

    July 28, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. Augsbee

    How ridiculous to not want to protect our country against illegal entry. Why don't we just open our country to let everyone in from around the world?? Meanwhile we have to show a passport when we travel abroad, even to Mexico.

    July 28, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Cecilia Taylor

    Well then this injunction should have the revers to it also. If the Feds are not going to inforce the Federal Law, they should be responsible to the states (including California) for the bills incurred by illegale immigrants in the state where the Feds are allowing their ( illegals from ANY county) to live. Maybe the states that have so many would then not be bankrupt!!!!

    July 28, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I hope that this isn't a big surprise for people. If the AZ governor really wants to get a new policy for immigration, then she needs to go through Congress to make sure the money gets spent for boarder security and then she can help work on a new immigration policy that does or does not allow people to enter the country.

    July 28, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  6. Stan Kapusta

    The people have made thier choice. A federal judge does not have the right to dictate to the people. The people have spoken and our leaders should accept our decision. So much for freedom of choice.

    July 28, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. save my state

    Wonderful the DEMS are still siding with the DRUG dealers,and Law Breakers. Can we stop the people who care more about others then their own country................

    July 28, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. stormerF

    Just what we need more bedwetting Judges,appointed by bed wetters.How does she justify allowing illegals to work unlawfully in the US.What the Az politicans need to do is,pass a law that says if you can not prove who you are you get arrested.

    July 28, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  9. June

    Duh ... immigration enforcement and policy is a federal matter, always has been. Instead of of illegally challenging the Feds why doesn't the government of AZ work with them to improve things.

    July 28, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |

    Jeffrey Toobin should know better than to state that because the Arizona Federal Judge was appointed by President Clinton she is a Democrat. Federal District Court judges are recommended to the President by the sitting Senators. As far as I know, for some time the two sitting Senators have been Republicans. It is more logical than not that this federal judge was recommended by a Republican US Senator (like McCain or Kyle). Jeffrey, get your facts correct. I am surprised at you.

    July 28, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. T'SAH from Virginia

    I'm SHOCKED since other judges tend to 'overrule' other decisions our President has made – like temporarily ending DEEP OFFSHORE DRILLING for about 6 freaking months???!!!!

    This alone proves that the AZ law was unconstitutional – yes, the constitution that MOST RepubliCAN'Ts feel is their BIBLE and MUST be abide by to the 'tee' – and parts of it had to be 'overturned'.

    Now is the Party of NO going to say NO WAY to this too????

    And how DARE Brewer in another Ticker make demands on President Obama about the BORDER – knowing that protecting the border is nearly IMPOSSIBLE!! Jeez!

    July 28, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  12. vic

    Our legislators don’t get they pass the law ignoring many parts with out studying they focus only election

    July 28, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. Tinkers Dam

    Got to wonder how much this cost Obamatard.

    July 28, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. Hugo

    Time for some hometown Democracy Arizona, take care of business!
    Class action lawsuit against the Fed for failure to enforce our immigration laws, failure to properly regulate offshore drilling, failure to regulate Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and FAILURE TO ADHERE AND GOVERN IN ACCORDANCE TO OUR CONSTITUTION AND BILL OF RIGHTS!

    This is definitely the death blow for the Demorats!

    July 28, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  15. hypocricnnation

    For Now, It's A Great Stand. For Those Who Are Mad At Illegal Immigrants Being In This, They Should Be Mad At Most Legislators In Washington For Not Bringing Up (Or Having Courage) Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

    July 28, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  16. BeverlyNC

    Thank goodness for some common sense. If the AZ Republicans want to end their illegal immigration problem – then tell their Republican Senators (McCain and Kyl) to pass a real immigration reform law in Congress.
    McCain co-authored a full immigration reform law with the late Sen Ted Kennedy. Bush vetoed it in 2007. McCain now acts like he knows nothing about immigration reform and no Republican will work to pass a Federal immigration reform law.
    Republicans love illegals because their business buddies have access to cheap slave labor and allows them to cheat the Federal govt out of required employer taxes. Republicans are just hypocrites. They don't really want reform but are playing political games pretending like they are.
    If AZ is so terrified of illegals then why has McCain and Kyl done NOTHING for the past 20 years about it? If AZ is so terrified of illegals then why aren't all the Republicans border states telling their Republican Senators to pass a Federal reform law?
    This is just a Republican political game with no desire to accomplish anything but to use it to criticize President Obama for their own failings.
    Put up or shut up Republicans!

    July 28, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  17. diridi

    Listen, that judge has brains. o.k. Federal laws will supersede all the laws whether state local or any. I went to law school, and have masters in law. Federal Government needs to intervene immigration policies, not AZ nor NV, nor TX. period. Federal Government needs to hold employers liable, and imprison them who hire illegals, and non-citizens. o.k. I know the law precisely and clearly. I went to law school in India. I am an American citizen.

    July 28, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  18. mj

    Feel badly for Arizona. Since the Federal Government has no desire to do squat, Arizona should give all the illegals a free bus ticket to Washington, DC. Instruct them to go to the "BIG WHITE HOUSE" to get their Free Health Care, Housing, and Food.

    July 28, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  19. Hammerer

    And what did you expect from a Democratic appointee?
    Farther dismantleing of the law of the land to protect American citizens. One more step in moving to one world government, the real goal of obama inc.

    July 28, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |

    Judge Bolton was recommended by Senator Kyl (pardon the prior misspell.) Although Judge Bolton was born in Philadephia, her entire legal career has been spent in Arizona and it is logical to assume that she is a Republican. Thus, her appointment by President Clinton is meaningless of Mr. Toobin;'s comment. He is too good a lawyer and a commentator on legal matters to have made this "mistake".

    July 28, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  21. Dave

    Welcome to the Hispanic state of Arizona, the only accepted language is spanish. Press 2 if you would like to continue this conversation in English

    July 28, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. NC

    I knew when this law was passed it would never be used. Someone versed in Constitutional Law should have advised AZ. of the Constitutional issues involved. I am glad it will not be used because it will violate American Latino citizens rights or anyone with a tan or brown skin. Az. you will not have to worry about tourists anymore.

    July 28, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. Larry

    I knew they would fling enough lawsuits to make one sitck. This is only going to annoy people like me that are in heavy immigration states. Our neighborhood has banded a list together of landscapers and home help that are documented. No papers – no work.

    July 28, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. JIlli

    Score one for the good guys.

    Meanwhile, the ever-so-sleazy Ms. Brewer is in dirt up to her extremely wrinkly neck...

    Yet a new investigation by local Arizona TV news station CBS 5 finds that the Brewer administration may have ulterior motives for its strong support of the new law. The station has found that “two of Brewer’s top advisers have connections” to private prison giant Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).
    Paul Senseman, Brewer’s deputy chief of staff, is a former lobbyist for CCA. His wife continues to lobby for the company. Meanwhile Chuck Coughlin, who leads her re-election campaign, chaired her transition into the governorship, and is one of the governor’s policy advisors, is president of HighGround Public Affairs Consultants, which lobbies for CCA.
    This is important because CCA currently “holds the federal contract to house detainees in Arizona.” CBS 5 notes that the company currently bills $11 billion a month to the state of Arizona and that, if SB-1070 is successfully implemented, its profits would be significantly padded as it would take responsibility for imprisoning immigrants arrested by Arizona police.

    July 28, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  25. slickingdom

    The only rights illegal immigrants have is to go through the proper channels to get a green card or be treated humanly back across the U.S. border.

    July 28, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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