Wednesday, July 28, 2010
U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton has ruled that many of the most controversial provisions of S.B. 1070, the recent immigration law adopted in Arizona, are unconstitutional. The decision may be found here. The Court reached its decision largely on the basis that much of the Arizona law is preempted by federal immigration law and implementation of the Arizona law would interfere with federal government policy with respect to immigration. The decision has international implications because some foreign states, such as Mexico, have joined in lawsuits against Arizona and because some provisions of the law may violate international human rights norms. Although Judge Bolton mentioned the U.S. government's argument that the law is likely to interfere with foreign relations, she did not base her decision on the international aspects of the law.
The Arizona law was scheduled to take effect tomorrow. Judge Bolton has preliminarily enjoined enforcement of four sections of the law, including the provision that directs state law enforcement officials to ask for documentation of lawful presence in the United States. In addition, the Court enjoined enforcement of the provisions that make it a crime to fail to carry alien registration papers and to solicit, apply for or perform work without employment authorization. Finally, the Court enjoined the provision authorizing the warrantless arrest of a person where there is probable cause to believe the person has commited a removable offense.