Monday, April 11, 2011

U.S.: Court upholds Arizona immigration law injunction

Last July, U.S. federal judge Susan Bolton struck down several sections of Arizona’s controversial immigration SB 1070 law. Bolton placed a temporary injunction on some provisions including making it a criminal offense for non-citizens to not carry paperwork and allowing local police to check a suspect’s immigration status.

As CNN’s website reported, an appeals court this afternoon upheld Bolton’s decision:
In its ruling, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit sided with the U.S. Justice Department and against Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the measure known as SB 1070 into law last year…

Monday's decision came more than five months after both sides presented their cases in San Francisco to the federal appeals court judges. The ruling was written by federal Judge Richard Anthony Paez and supported in full by Judge John Noonan. Judge Carlos Bea partially concurred and partially dissented from the ruling opinion…

"We hold that the district court did not abuse its discretion," the ruling states. "Therefore, we affirm the district court's preliminary injunction order enjoining these certain provisions of SB 1070."
Today’s decision could be appealed by Arizonan officials and taken all the way to the Supreme Court.

Arizona became the epicenter of the national immigration debate due to the implementation of SB 1070. Proponents of the measure argued in part that it was needed to control illegal immigrants crossing from Mexico. The Justice Department sued to block the law while other critics including Latino right groups argued that SB 1070 would lead to harassment of Latinos residing in Arizona.

The fervor in Arizona has received less media attention compared to roughly a year ago but that hasn’t stopped some states from trying to pass their own SB1070-like laws. Legislatures in at least ten states have defeated “restrictive immigration measures” according to the Immigration Impact website. Yet as Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer noted, “Arizona-styled bills” are being debated in four states including Florida and Oklahoma.

Image- Gallo/Getty via Al Jazeera English (Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama)
Online Sources- The Latin Americanist, CNN, The Guardian, Immigration Impact, Miami Herald

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