Arizona appeals order partially blocking immigration law

[JURIST] Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) [official website] on Thursday filed an expedited appeal [text, PDF] asking the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] to lift the preliminary injunction [press release, PDF] issued Wednesday against several provisions of a controversial immigration law [SB 1070 materials; JURIST news archive]. The appeal and motion [text, PDF] for expedited briefing and hearing schedule asks the court to establish a timeline for briefs, schedule oral arguments for the week of September 13 and expedite its ruling. Explaining Arizona's reasons for the appeal, Brewer said:

If the federal government wants to be in charge of illegal immigration and they want no help from states, it then needs to do its job...Illegal immigration is an ongoing crisis the State of Arizona did not create and the federal government has refused to fix. SB 1070 protects all of us, every Arizona citizen and everyone here in our state lawfully. It ensures that the constitutional rights of ALL in Arizona are undiminished. ... Our state taxpayers cannot sustain the outrageous costs of illegal immigration, and its continued erosion of our time-honored legal immigration traditions.
Wednesday's injunction [JURIST report] came at the request of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website], which filed its suit challenging the constitutionality of the law [JURIST report] earlier this month. Judge Susan Bolton issued the injunction against provisions of the law requiring the verification of the immigration status of people reasonably suspected of being illegal immigrants and authorizing the warrantless arrest of those police have probable cause to believe have committed an offense that could lead to deportation. The court also enjoined a provision of the law requiring noncitizens to carry their registration papers with them at all times. The court declined to enjoin several other provisions of the law, finding that the DOJ was not likely to prevail in its claims against them, including making it a state crime to harbor illegal immigrants and allowing for the impoundment of vehicles used in their transportation.

In its complaint, the DOJ argued that the Constitution and federal law "do not permit the development of a patchwork of state and local immigration policies throughout the country." The DOJ also claims that the federal government has preeminent authority to regulate immigration matters and that the enforcement of the Arizona law is counterproductive to the national immigration policy and will interfere with foreign relations with Mexico and other countries. The law has been widely criticized as unconstitutional and allegedly legalizing racial profiling. Also in July, the American Bar Association (ABA) [official website] filed an amicus curiae brief [JURIST report] in support of the DOJ lawsuit, following the submission of another amicus curiae brief [JURIST report] in support of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website]. In the brief filed in support of the US, the ABA also argues that the Arizona law would interfere with law enforcement officers' public safety functions and infringe on both citizens' and noncitizens' constitutional rights by placing upon them the burden of proving their citizenship.

 

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