United States District Court Judge Susan Bolton issued a ’stay’ , which blocks against the Arizona SB 1070 law. She struck down several key components of the illegal immigration law today after holding three hearings. Judge Bolton’s order today will allow illegal immigrants to live in the United States without any documentation. The law has been a center piece of Governor Jan Brewer in stopping violence in Arizona through immigration policy.
Today’s ruling by Judge Bolton prevents police officers from checking a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws. She also blocked components that require immigrants to carry their documentation to identify themselves. Hearing arguments from attorneys from the Justice Department, ACLU and the defendants, the State of Arizona resulted in today’s ’stay’ being issued until further hearings to decide on the entire bill.
The Arizona law, SB 1070, has caused a firestorm of protests and demonstrations both for and against it. Several other states are considering similar laws. Polls indicate the law has widespread support nationwide. But The Obama Administration has been under pressure from Hispanic groups to act against it.
Judge Bolton wrote in her stay that “preserving the status quo through a preliminary injunction is less harmful than allowing state laws that are likely preempted by federal law to be enforced.” She adds in her 36-page ruling “There is a substantial likelihood that officers will wrongfully arrest legal resident aliens.” She concludes that “By enforcing this statue, Arizona would impose a ‘distinct, unusual and extraordinary’ burden on legal resident aliens that only the federal government has the authority to impose.”
The injunction by Federal Judge Susan Bolton blocking Arizona SB 1070, set to take effect tomorrow, will block the state from acting on the law. Her ruling could open the door, however, to states not enforcing other Federal laws. If only the Federal government has the authority to act on certain laws, such as the nation’s drug laws, could Judge Bolton’s reasons be applied to state and local police not enforcing them? Today’s ruling will impact immigration policy and will continue to be opposed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.