Heart of im­mi­gra­tion law blocked

Judge re­jects most con­tro­ver­sial parts; ap­peal is ex­pected

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Ni­cholas Ric­cardi and Anna Gor­man

PHOENIX — A fed­eral judge blocked the most con­tro­ver­sial el­e­ments of Ari­zona’s new im­mi­gra­tion law Wed­nes­day, thrilling the law’s op­po­nents, dis­may­ing its ad­vo­cates and set­ting the stage for more le­gal bat­tles.

“We would have liked to have seen it all up­held, but a tem­po­rary in­junc­tion is not the end of it,” said Ari­zona Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the leg­is­la­tion in April. “I look at this as a lit­tle bump in the road.”

The gover­nor said she was look­ing for­ward to get­ting started on the ap­peals process. “Jan Brewer is not a quit­ter,” she said.

U.S. District Judge Su­san Bolton halted im­ple­men­ta­tion of the parts of the law that re­quire po­lice to de­ter­mine the im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus of peo­ple they stop and think are in the

Con­tin­ued from A1 coun­try il­le­gally. She also for­bade the state from charg­ing any­one with fail­ure to pos­sess im­mi­gra­tion doc­u­ments, a crime un­der the new law.

In her 36-page de­ci­sion, Bolton wrote that the mea­sure would have ham­strung the fed­eral govern­ment’s ef­forts to en­force im­mi­gra­tion law.

“The fed­eral govern­ment’s abil­ity to en­force its poli­cies and achieve its ob­jec­tives will be un­der­mined by the state’s en­force­ment of statutes that in­ter­fere with fed­eral law,” she wrote.

The law’s sup­port­ers, who con­tended it was needed to stop il­le­gal im­mi­grants from com­ing to Ari­zona, vowed a swift ap­peal.

Brewer, speak­ing with re­porters as she left the Uni­ver­sity of Ari­zona technology park, said she thinks the law is con­sti­tu­tional. Brewer also said, as she has re­peat­edly in the past, that the law was an at­tempt to pro­tect the state.

“I wish that the fed­eral govern­ment would step up and do their job so we could all be safe and se­cure in the state of Ari­zona,” she said.

Im­mi­grant-rights groups were ebul­lient.

“It means jus­tice will truly pre­vail,” said Ly­dia Guz­man, pres­i­dent of So­mos Amer­ica, or We Are Amer­ica.

Phoenix Vice Mayor Michael Nowakowski, an op­po­nent of the mea­sure, told re­porters out­side the courthouse that the rul­ing was “a vic­tory for in­di­vid­u­als who say the fed­eral law is the fed­eral law.”

Bolton’s rul­ing found that the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion was likely to pre­vail at trial in prov­ing that the pro­vi­sions re­quir­ing po­lice to de­ter­mine im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus and im­mi­grants to carry doc­u­ments, Mari­copa County Sher­iff Joe Ar­paio says his depart­ment is ready to face ac­tivists ex­pected in Phoenix to­day who protest SB 1070. along with two other pro­vi­sions of the sweep­ing law, were an un­con­sti­tu­tional at­tempt by Ari­zona to reg­u­late im­mi­gra­tion. Ari­zona is ex­pected to im­me­di­ately ap­peal the de­ci­sion to the U.S. 9th Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals in San Fran­cisco.

As the clock ticked down to­ward the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the law, known as SB 1070, ten­sions had been ris­ing as both sides braced for con­fronta­tions in the streets and waited to see how — and if — the judge would rule be­fore the law was to take ef­fect to­day.

Bus­loads of demon­stra­tors were ar­riv­ing from Los An­ge­les and were ex­pected to join large num­bers of lo­cals protest­ing the mea­sure this morn­ing.

Mari­copa County Sher­iff Joe Ar­paio — whose cam­paign against il­le­gal im­mi­grants has made him a widely pop­u­lar, though con­tro­ver­sial, fig­ure here — had said he would open a new sec­tion of his out­door tent jail that he is dub­bing “Sec­tion 1070,” where he in­tended to house il­le­gal im­mi­grants de­tained as a re­sult of the law. Ar­paio, whose high-rise of­fices in down­town Phoenix were to be tar­geted by demon­stra­tors to­day, re­leased a state­ment be­fore Bolton’s rul­ing warn­ing that he would not tol­er­ate law­break­ers.

“Ac­tivists and their celebrity sym­pa­thiz­ers who wish to tar­get this com­mu­nity and this sher­iff by at­tempt­ing to dis­rupt our jail and pa­trol op­er­a­tions will be un­suc­cess­ful, as we will be fully pre­pared to meet those chal­lenges headon with ap­pro­pri­ately staffed per­son­nel and re­sources,” he said.

Polls have shown that Ari­zo­nans over­whelm­ingly sup­port the law. That was the view expressed by Faye Yanez, 65, as she and her hus­band were leav­ing a Home De­pot in Tuc­son. Yanez said she was dis­ap­pointed by the rul­ing.

“We feel slighted,” she said. “The state should have a right to take care of the state be­cause the fed­eral govern­ment isn’t do­ing any­thing.”

Yanez, a school­teacher, said the cost of health care and ed­u­ca­tion is higher than it should be be­cause of il­le­gal im­mi­grants in Ari­zona.

“I have noth­ing against them get­ting health care or ed­u­ca­tion, but have some­one spon­sor them,” she said.

Susie Baker, 53, who re­mod­els homes in Tuc­son, felt dif­fer­ently.

“I am thrilled,” she said, as she headed into the store. “I think Jan Brewer is out of her mind. She is bring­ing harm to Ari­zona.”

Matt York

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