A judge for the US District Court for the District of Arizona [official website] on Tuesday lifted an injunction [order, PDF] that barred enforcement of a controversial provision of Arizona's immigration law [SB 1070, PDF] requiring law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of persons they stop or arrest if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the US illegally. After hearing arguments [JURIST report] on the law in August, Judge Susan Bolton denied [JURIST report] the plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction earlier this month in light of the US Supreme Court [official website] ruling in Arizona v. United States [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] which upheld the provision. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer [official website] said Bolton's lifting of the injunction was an important moment for Arizona [press release, PDF] and supporters of the bill:
I've never claimed that SB 1070 would cure Arizona's problems with illegal immigration; only the federal government has the resources and responsibility necessary to achieve that. What SB 1070 does represent is one more tool that our officers can use in collaborating with federal authorities to reduce the crime and other impacts associated with illegal immigration in our communities.Arizona police officers can immediately begin enforcing the law [AP report].
Immigration law [JURIST backgrounder] has became a hot button issue over the past few years as many states, Arizona being the first, have passed laws giving state and local officials more power to crack down on illegal immigration. In August the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit [official website] struck down [JURIST report] several provisions of Alabama's controversial immigration law [HB 56, PDF], upheld a few sections of the law and rejected part of Georgia's immigration law [HB 87, text]. That same month, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [official website] again heard arguments [JURIST report] on two anti-illegal immigrant laws enacted in 2006 by the city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, which deny permits to businesses that employ illegal immigrants and fine landlords who extend housing to them. In July a judge for the US District Court for the District of South Carolina [official website] declined to lift an injunction [JURIST report] against South Carolina's controversial immigration law [SB 20 materials], despite the recent Supreme Court ruling. The lawsuit against the South Carolina immigration law was put on hold [JURIST report] in January pending the outcome of Arizona v. United States. Last May the ACLU and the National Immigration Law Center filed a class action lawsuit challenging Utah's immigration law, the same month that the ACLU filed a class action [JURIST reports] in the US District Court for the Southern District of Indiana [official website] challenging that state's immigration law.