Two Hearings Today on Arizona Immigration Law

Two lawsuits seeking to prevent the implementation of SB 1070, the Arizona immigration law, will be heard today. In the afternoon, the court will hear argument in the suit filed by the Justice Department. In the morning, it will hear from civil rights groups, including the ACLU. The ACLU's motion for preliminary injunction is available here.

The judge still hasn't ruled on the hearing last week in the lawsuit filed by a police officer. [More...]

Yesterday, the ACLU filed a lawsuit in federal court in Nebraska on behalf of landlords, tenants and employers in Fremont challenging a newly passed law seeking to banish persons alleged to be undocumented residents from rental homes in the 25,000-person town.

Like the recently passed law in Arizona, the Fremont law invites racial profiling against Latinos and others who appear "foreign." The group will file a motion shortly requesting that the court block the law from going into effect while the case is litigated.

The ACLU's lawsuit charges that Fremont's law is at odds with the clear constitutional mandate imposing a uniform federal immigration enforcement system and has a discriminatory effect on those who look or sound "foreign."

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  • Display: Sort:
    Is judge Bolton a judge in Arizona? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Saul on Thu Jul 22, 2010 at 09:24:17 AM EST

    Susan Bolton is a federal judge (none / 0) (#2)
    by Peter G on Thu Jul 22, 2010 at 09:58:10 PM EST
    for the District of Arizona, so yes, she is "in Arizona."  Although born in Philadelphia, she has been in Arizona since getting her first job there in 1975.  A Clinton appointee, although recommended to the White House by Senator Kyl.  

    From Azcentral.com (none / 0) (#3)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 09:28:15 AM EST
    (online Phoenix newspaper)

    Bolton did make one thing clear: She has no intention of invalidating the entire law but is considering halting the enactment of a handful of its 14 sections.

    One section being argued is with regard to enforcement and arrest:

    Bolton asked ACLU attorney Omar Jadwat and later Department of Justice attorney Edwin Kneedler why the state should not be allowed to require all local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law.

    "Why can't Arizona be as inhospitable as they wish to people who have remained and entered the United States illegally?" the judge asked. "Who am I to stop the state of Arizona?"

    But she also held the state's lawyer, John Bouma, to the fire with questions about whether this portion of the state law pre-empts federal law. Bouma said it did not.

    "Law-enforcement officers have been enforcing federal immigration laws for years," he said.

    The other part of this section of the law that was addressed was the portion that states that any person arrested must have his or her immigration status determined before he or she can be released.

    Bolton asked Bouma whether lawmakers really intended that anyone arrested, regardless of his or her legal status or whether the arrest involved citing and releasing someone on the spot or booking him or her into jail, had to have immigration status determined before being released from jail.

    Bouma gave her several different answers at different points in the day.

    He first said that U.S. citizens don't have an "immigration status" and therefore SB 1070 wouldn't apply to them. He also said that part of the law was intended to follow the part allowing officers to ask someone about their legal status, which means it would apply only to individuals suspected of being in the country illegally.

    "But (police) training materials specifically acknowledge that they don't know what it means and that it will be left up to each agency to decide what that sentence means," Bolton replied, adding that she had heard from some law-enforcement authorities that this portion of the law could lead to the arrest of tens of thousands of people who otherwise would have just been cited and released.

    The ACLU's Jadwat said the plaintiffs interpret that portion to apply to any person arrested.

    "And that goes far beyond anything contemplated in federal law . . . or that makes any real sense," he said. "You would be able to hold people for no other reason but to determine their legal status."

    Bouma later admitted the sentence was "inartfully worded."