Federal judge lifts injunction on Arizona’s “show your paper” immigration law

The injunction blocking Arizona’s “show your paper” immigration law was lifted on Tuesday after a federal judge questioned whether the law’s implementation would actually lead to racial profiling and prolonged detention of Latinos.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer praised the court’s decision to allow the “heart” of SB 1070 to take effect.

Read more: Misery Profiteers & Arizona’s Immigration Law

“Today is the day we have awaited for more than two years,” Brewer said in a written statement. “What SB 1070 does represent is one more tool that our officers can use in collaborating with federal authorities to reduce the crime and other impacts associated with illegal immigration in our communities.”

Section 2(b) of SB 1070 requires all Arizona law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of anyone they stop, detain, or arrest if “reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien and is unlawfully present in the United States.” Under Section 2(b), an individual cannot be released from police custody until his or her immigration status has been verified with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Read more: Supreme Court invalidates bulk of Arizona’s immigration law

Although most of SB 1070 was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in June, Section 2(b) was spared due to lack of evidence that the status verification requirement, if implemented, will be abused by police as a “license to engage in racial profiling“.

Citing the Supreme Court’s ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton lifted the injunction, allowing Section 2(b) to take effect immediately.

“This Court will not ignore the clear direction in the Arizona opinion that Subsection 2(B) cannot be challenged further on its face before the law takes effect,” Bolton wrote. “As the Supreme Court stated, Plaintiffs and the United States may be able to challenge the provision on other preemption and constitutional grounds ‘as interpreted and applied after it goes into effect.'”

Read more: ACLU & civil rights groups challenge Arizona’s ‘show your papers’ immigration law

Opponents of SB 1070 – led by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), National Immigration Law Center, and MALDEF – filed an emergency motion last week seeking to bar the enforcement of Section 2(b) pending their appeal before Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

“The plaintiffs in this case have raised substantial claims against section 2B and the courts should not allow the provision to go into effect without even considering those claims, which is what will happen if the court of appeals denies the request we are filing today,” said Omar Jadwat, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. “As the history of this litigation shows, we are determined to fight SB 1070 and continue to work to preserve all Arizonans’ rights to be free from harassment and profiling.”


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