Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Judge blocks provisions of Arizona's immigration law

From Jonathan J. Cooper and Michelle Price of the Associated Press on July 28:
PHOENIX -- 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.

It sets up a lengthy legal battle that could end up before the Supreme Court -- ensuring that a law that reignited the immigration debate, inspired similar measures nationwide, created fodder for political campaigns and raised tensions with Mexico will stay in the spotlight.

Protesters who gathered at the state Capitol and outside the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City cheered when they heard the news. The governor, the law's authors and anti-illegal immigration groups vowed to fight on.

"It's a temporary bump in the road," Gov. Jan Brewer said.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton will now have to decide a question as old as the nation itself: Does federal law trump state law? She indicated in her ruling that the federal government's case has a good chance at succeeding.

The Clinton appointee said the controversial sections should be put on hold until the courts resolve the issues, including sections that required officers to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.

Bolton delayed provisions that required immigrants to carry their papers and banned illegal immigrants from soliciting employment in public places -- a moved aimed at day laborers. In addition, she blocked officers from making warrantless arrests of suspected illegal immigrants for crimes that can lead to deportation.

"Requiring Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies to determine the immigration status of every person who is arrested burdens lawfully present aliens because their liberty will be restricted while their status is checked," Bolton wrote.

I was so disappointed to read this news alert on my phone this afternoon.

WHY ARE WE PROTECTING ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS? Is it such a burden for legal immigrants to carry paperwork? And why would arresting illegal immigrants for anything that could lead to deportation be wrong? Do we want them to stay?

Bolton sends one big message with her ruling: It is OK to be a legal immigrant in the U.S. I don't get it, and I'm angry.

The South Florida Tea Party asks that you show your support for Arizona's efforts. Display a sign with a pat-on-the-back message for the state -- a simple "I support Arizona" will do. E-mail us a picture of your sign to, and you may win a T-shirt.


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