Judge upholds Arizona immigration law
A state judge in Arizona has upheld the 2010 immigration law that allows police to question the immigration status of a suspect when enforcing other laws. This is a huge victory for proponents of the law and may signal the end of efforts to squash the law in the courts.
Bolton upheld the law’s controversial requirement that police, while enforcing other laws, can question the immigration status of those suspected of being in the country illegally. The Supreme Court also upheld the requirement, but the law’s challengers continued to try to get it overturned at a lower-level court.
Opponents have “not produced any evidence that state law enforcement officials will enforce SB1070 differently for Latinos than a similarly situated person of another race or ethnicity,” Bolton wrote.
It’s unclear whether challengers will appeal Bolton’s ruling. Karen Tumlin, an attorney representing a coalition of civil rights groups, said in a statement they would “evaluate all legal options moving forward.”
Former state Sen. Russell Pearce, who sponsored the initial legislation, applauded Bolton's judgment.
"She made it very clear the law was written very carefully not to be a race issue. It's not a racial law," Pearce said.
The judge did make one change to the law. She permanently barred a section of the law that prohibited people from blocking traffic when seeking or offering day labor services on the streets. An appeals court previously also held Arizona couldn’t force such provisions. Opponents argued that day labor rules unconstitutionally restrict the free speech rights of people who want to express their need for work.
In practice, the law has apparently not made much of a dent in border security. And there are several studies that show the law has been bad for Arizona's economy. But that's not the point so much as the law represents a statement by the state that it could make its own efforts to control the flood of illlegal aliens when the federal government won't.