Thursday, June 19, 2014

Court Limits Utah Immigration Enforcement Law

AP reports that a federal court has struck down parts Utah's controversial immigration enforcement law modelled on Arizona's S.B. 1070.  The court upheld one key provision but invalidated several others in legislation that was passed in 2011 amid a wave of similar state and local immigration enforcement laws enacted across the United States.

Closely following the Supreme Court's 2012 decision in Arizona v. United States, the ruling by U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups upheld a provision that requires police work with federal authorities to check the immigration status of people arrested for felonies or certain misdemeanors such as theft, while giving authorities the discretion to check the citizenship of those stopped for traffic infractions and other lesser offenses.

But Judge Waddoups set limits on how it can be implemented. Law enforcement officers cannot hold a person longer than normal just to wait for federal officials verify immigration status. That means if a person is stopped for a traffic offense that doesn't require booking, he or she cannot be detained solely because of questions about immigration status.

One of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs, the National Immigration Law Center, has issued this press statement about the ruling. Click here for further information about the case, Utah Coalition of La Raza v. Herbert.


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