Judge blocks controversial sections of Arizona's new immigration law
Posted in the Winter Springs Forum
Since: Feb 09
#1 Jul 28, 2010
PHOENIX (AP)— A federal judge stepped into the fight over Arizona's immigration law at the last minute Wednesday, blocking the heart of the measure and defusing a confrontation between police and thousands of activists that had been building for months.
Coming just hours before the law was to take effect, the ruling isn't the end.
fighting more serious crimes. The U.S. Justice Department, civil rights groups and a Phoenix police officer asked for Wednesday's injunction.
Lawyers for the state contend the law was a constitutionally sound attempt by Arizona to assist federal immigration agents and lessen border woes, such as the heavy costs for educating, jailing and providing health care for illegal immigrants.
They said Arizona shouldn't have to suffer from a broken immigration system when it has 15,000 officers who can arrest illegal immigrants.
In her ruling, Bolton said the interests of Arizona, the busiest U.S. gateway for illegal immigrants, match those of the federal government. But, she wrote, that the federal government must take the lead on deciding how to enforce immigration laws.
The core of the government's case is that federal immigration law trumps state law — an issue known as "pre-emption" in legal circles. In her ruling, Bolton pointed out five portions of the law where she believed the federal government would likely succeed on its claims.
Justice Department spokeswoman Hannah August said the agency understands the frustration of Arizona residents with the immigration system, but added that a patchwork of state and local policies would seriously disrupt federal immigration enforcement.
Federal authorities have argued that letting the Arizona law stand would create a patchwork of immigration laws nationwide that would needlessly complicate foreign relations. They said the law is disrupting U.S. relations with Mexico and other countries.
About 100 protesters in Mexico City who had gathered in front of the U.S. Embassy broke into cheers when they learned of Bolton's ruling.
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