AZ Judge Okays "Show Me Your Papers" Law

Photo credit: Archiwum Panstwowe w Krakowie

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton has ruled that the provision in S.B. 1070, Arizona's on-hold immigration law allowing police officers to ask for proof of lawful presence in the U.S. during a valid traffic stop can go into effect. Police are expected to start enforcing it in about 10 days.

Judge Bolton has closed the door on facial attacks to the statute. The Supreme Court ruled last year that this part of the law is constitutional because it requires police to check the documentation without regard to race or ethnicity.

The legal challenges to this section of the law aren't over, they just can't be made now. Once it goes into effect and victims start reporting profiling abuses, a challenge can be made that the enforcement of the law violates civil rights.

The Supreme Court struck down three other provisions of the law, such as the provision making it a misdemeanor not to carry documentation of lawful presence at all times, and a ban on undocumented immigrants soliciting work in public places. The Supreme Court opinion is here. It states:

As a general rule, it is not a crime for a removable alien to remain present in the United States. See INS v. Lopez, Mendoza, 468 U. S. 1032, 1038 (1984).

On the papers provision:

Section 2(B) of S. B. 1070 requires state officers to make a “reasonable attempt . . . to determine the immigration status” of any person they stop, detain, or arrest on some other legitimate basis if “reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien and is unlawfully present in the United States.” Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §11–1051(B) (West 2012). The law also provides that “[a]ny person who is arrested shall have the person’s immigration status determined before the person is released.” Ibid. The accepted way to perform these status checks is to contact ICE,which maintains a database of immigration records.

Three limits are built into the state provision. First, a detainee is presumed not to be an alien unlawfully present in the United States if he or she provides a valid Arizona driver’s license or similar identification. Second, officers “may not consider race, color or national origin . . . except to the extent permitted by the United States [and] Arizona Constitution[s].” Ibid. Third, the provisions must be “implemented in a manner consistent with federal law regulating immigration, protecting the civil rights of all persons and respecting the privileges and immunities of United States citizens.”

The Supreme Court ruled it wasn't clear that enforcement of the papers provision "in fact conflicts with federal immigration law and its objectives." From the syllabus of the opinion:

It is not clear at this stage and on this record that §2(B), in practice, will require state officers to delay the release of detainees for no reason other than to verify their immigration status. This would raise constitutional concerns. And it would disrupt the federal framework to put state officers in the position of holding aliens in custody for possible unlawful presence without federal direction and supervision.

But §2(B) could be read to avoid these concerns. If the law only requires state officers to conduct a status check during the course of an authorized, lawful detention or after a detainee has been released, the provision would likely survive preemption —at least absent some showing that it has other consequences that are adverse to federal law and its objectives.

Without the benefit of a definitive interpretation from the state courts, it would be inappropriate to assume §2(B) will be construed in a way that conflicts with federal law....This opinion does not foreclose other preemption and constitutional challenges to the law as interpreted and applied after it goes into effect.

Judge Bolton yesterday did grant an injunction against the provision making it a crime to transport, shield, or harbor an undocumented person in Arizona.

From President Obama's statement on the Supreme Court ruling:

I remain concerned about the practical impact of the remaining provision of the Arizona law that requires local law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of anyone they even suspect to be here illegally. I agree with the Court that individuals cannot be detained solely to verify their immigration status. No American should ever live under a cloud of suspicion just because of what they look like. Going forward, we must ensure that Arizona law enforcement officials do not enforce this law in a manner that undermines the civil rights of Americans, as the Court’s decision recognizes.

Furthermore, we will continue to enforce our immigration laws by focusing on our most important priorities like border security and criminals who endanger our communities, and not, for example, students who earn their education – which is why the Department of Homeland Security announced earlier this month that it will lift the shadow of deportation from young people who were brought to the United States as children through no fault of their own.

Here is the ACLU's class action complaint against the show me your papers provision filed in 2010. The ACLU said today:

Although the court denied our request to block Section 2(b) from going into effect, the fight against SB1070 isn’t over by any means. We plan to ramp up our litigation efforts to seek justice on behalf of all victims of racial profiling and illegal detentions. And we will continue to send a strong message to policymakers in other states that it’s un-American to target people like Hugo simply because of the color of their skin.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Oops. You ended up here (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by shoephone on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 04:20:26 PM EST
    instead of Redstate again.

    Yes and he's banned (none / 0) (#34)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 02:19:14 AM EST
    Bigoted diatriabes have no place here. He should take his right wing views to a right wing site, rather than come here and have the audacity to lecture progressives. And he can take his phony handle, myleftmind, with him.

    We support our legal immigrants (2.00 / 1) (#28)
    by MyLeftMind on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 03:13:48 PM EST
    when we prevent illegal aliens from ignoring our laws. This isn't about race, it's about doing right by citizens and legal immigrants. When the left stops catering to those who abuse our country's generosity, Democrats will start winning the votes of independents again.

    Do you really think (none / 0) (#29)
    by Zorba on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 03:41:01 PM EST
    that every non-Native American who is now in this country, got here "legally," or, more to the point, that their ancestors all got here "legally"?  Really?  I know that some of my ancestors, as well as the ancestors of some of the people I know, got into this country "illegally" (mostly, way back in the day, via Canada).  
    So I guess that, by your lights, I should not be here, despite the fact that those of my ancestors who got here illegally did very well, paid tons of taxes, and raised descendants who also contributed a whole he!! of a lot to the United States of America.
    Wake the f*ck up, for Pete's sake.  

    It doesn't matter how people got here in the past. (2.00 / 1) (#35)
    by MyLeftMind on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:12:45 PM EST
    What matters is what happens TODAY. Our immigration policies don't have to be lackadaisical just because our ancestors came here in a variety of ways. Heck, slavery used to be legal. Should we use that historical fact to decide that slavery's OK today?

    Today, we have people who fly into this country to have a citizen baby. The US taxpayers are on the hook for the rest of those kids' lives, whether or not they or their parents EVER pay taxes.

    It made sense to let children of immigrants become citizens when people moved slowly from one country to another. Today you can fly into the US on an airplain. It's bad public policy, plain and simple.


    oops, airplane (none / 0) (#36)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 08:02:21 AM EST
    My UK, OZ, Kiwi and Canadian rugby buddies (none / 0) (#1)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 03:41:05 PM EST
    in Tucson and Phoenix will not be happy about this...

    Why? (none / 0) (#2)
    by redwolf on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 03:56:39 PM EST
    How exactly is this worse than having to have drivers license, registration, and proof of insurance on you?

    The very fact that cops always demand driver's ID in is a violation of our rights in "show me your papers sense" but no one seems to be too upset about it.


    At least in CA, you usually have the option of (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 04:14:55 PM EST
    showing your CDL and signing the citation or being arrested and taken into custody.  

    Yes arrested for a crime that you can't get... (none / 0) (#5)
    by redwolf on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 04:25:13 PM EST
    a jury trial for.  Completely unconstitutional.  No one cares.

    Because none of them are here legally. (none / 0) (#6)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 04:54:54 PM EST
    All of them overstay their tourist visas in order to spend a couple (or more) years playing rugby in the states. iow, this law will not only affect "brown" people...

    I hate that (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Yman on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 05:17:27 PM EST
    The police around here are always stopping the white guys on the rugby field and demanding IDs.  

    Don't even get me started on driving while wearing rugby shirts ...


    typcially committing traffic infractions on a rugby field.

    Though, if they were, they certainly should be stopped by the police, imo.

    On the other hand, most/all of them do drive cars here in the US, thereby opening themselves up to the risk of being asked for proof of lawful residence during a, you know, valid traffic stop.

    S.B. 1070, Arizona's on-hold immigration law allowing police officers to ask for proof of lawful presence in the U.S. during a valid traffic stop

    And, of course, they would be at risk when riding as passengers in cars driven by legal residents as well, if indeed 1070 allows the police to ask for proof from all of a vehicle's passengers, and not just the driver...

    Not limited to traffic stops (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Yman on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 06:13:04 PM EST
    True, those white guys don't usually drive around the rugby field, but they don't really need to:

    The provision, which requires police to verify the immigration status of suspected illegal immigrants while enforcing other laws, has been at the center of a fierce two-year legal battle going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld the requirement in June.

    The law applies when they're enforcing any law and they suspect someone is an illegal immigrant.  I think the police around here just ask to see their permit for playing rugby in the park.  To be honest, I think they sometimes engage in some fashion profiling.  If you wear any kind of striped, collared shirt, - particularly anything from Land's End - they grill you like you're George Chuter.

    Feel sorry for your buddies, though.  They're exactly the kinda guys the cops are gonna be looking for.  Arizona's probably gonna spend billions on new detention centers with rugby fields for all those Brits and Aussies.

    If only they had thought through the costs ...


    I've been stopped for driving a car with a black.. (none / 0) (#9)
    by redwolf on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 05:34:07 PM EST
    friend in the passenger seat.  Cop made up some story about me swerving all over the road while trying talk me into allowing a search of my car.  Just because you're white doesn't stop the cops from making up reasons to check your papers.

    No one said it did (none / 0) (#13)
    by Yman on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 07:46:43 PM EST
    OTOH - care to place a bet on who has higher odds of having a cop demand to see papers in AZ?

    These laws aren't aimed at us white guys.


    But whitey will be snared... (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 09:12:02 AM EST
    The irrefutable law of unintended consequences Yman...everytime a law gets passed, those it wasn't particularly aimed at get thrown in the meat grinder right along with the intended targets.

    Oh, ... no doubt (none / 0) (#17)
    by Yman on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 09:21:06 AM EST
    But its a price the proponents of SB 1070 will happily pay in order to have the police get at the real targets of the bill, ...

    ... Brit rugby players.  :)


    No doubt... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 09:26:20 AM EST
    the sanitized term for the "regrettable" (lol)f*cking with lives while f8cking with the lives ya wanna f*ck with applies..."collateral damage".

    I think a more accurate description (none / 0) (#20)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 12:55:55 PM EST
    is that they looked at the meat grinder and chose, willingly, to jump in.

    And I'm fine with that. I've done it myself, will likely do it in the future. We all do.


    Only if you accept the premise... (none / 0) (#22)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 01:19:07 PM EST
    that we need a meat grinder for paperless persons in the first place.  To paraphrase Cool Hand Luke..."just because it is the law don't make it right Boss".

    Also worth noting the meat grinder rules where different when they came, and now they have settled and built a life.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it...I know some believe it is broke, but I don't share that view.  


    we've had these convos a time or two before. :-)

    Any music for you this weekend?


    Nothing poppin'... (none / 0) (#24)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 02:02:07 PM EST
    this weekend musically, lots of sports, softball playoffs and Week 1...but its shaping up for a monster October...Love for Levon, J. Geils Band, Jimmy Vivino's Beatles Cover Band "Fab Faux" (1st time, heard great things), & Ryan Bingham all locked up.

    Anything poppin' in LaLa land for you hombre?


    It's all kids sports all the time for us. (none / 0) (#25)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 02:35:05 PM EST
    Although I do see that Bingham is playing in LA at the end of the month, I'll see if the Mrs. is interested...

    Ha! I just read your link. (none / 0) (#10)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 05:54:57 PM EST
    fwiw, rugby jerseys have come a long way, baby.

    Rugby shirts, otoh, remain entombed in the '80's...


    Heh - I was a preppy guy ... (none / 0) (#12)
    by Yman on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 07:43:00 PM EST
    ... in the 80s.

    Truth be told, I still miss my Land's End rugby shirt.


    I still have my rugby jersey from the team (none / 0) (#14)
    by caseyOR on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 08:24:19 PM EST
    I played on back in the late 70s-early 80s. It is a rugby shirt, vintage now.

    Looks like I was a couple years after you (none / 0) (#21)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 12:58:26 PM EST
    but I still have my old rugby shirt in the attic somewhere. Probably still smells like beer...

    I'm upset about it... (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 09:14:13 AM EST
    No one should have to produce ID to government agents on demand...no one.  It's classically unamerican.

    Jeralyn told me once... (none / 0) (#26)
    by fishcamp on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 03:42:14 PM EST
    "Just because you did the crime doesn't mean you are guilty"

    Racism is legal again (none / 0) (#3)
    by koshembos on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 04:04:29 PM EST
    We progressing backwards fast.

    The credit to the picture is in Polish and is to: State Archive in Krakow.

    Sue Bolton is.... (none / 0) (#19)
    by bmaz on Fri Sep 07, 2012 at 11:57:31 AM EST
    ....a fantastic judge, and has been for a long time, going back to Maricopa County Superior Court before she was nominated by Clinton.  I hate to say it, but this ruling was what she had to make after the way the Supreme Court sent it back.

    What constitutes proof of lawful presence? (none / 0) (#27)
    by republicratitarian on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 02:04:29 PM EST
    Is a drivers license good or do you have to show anything else?

    No, in fact (none / 0) (#31)
    by Zorba on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 07:27:59 PM EST
    You're the one who needs to "wake the f*ck up." I care about the rights of all people, if you had bothered to look at my comment history.  Yes, I am concerned about companies who are taking advantage of illegal labor.  However, I would go after and punish those companies, as opposed to those workers that they are taking advantage of.
    People like you are the problem, if you want to punish those who come here wanting to better their lives, and the lives of their children.  And, by the way, are you and those people that you know willing to do the jobs that these undocumented workers are doing, for what they are being paid?  If not, then shut the f*ck up.