Lawyers representing the Mexican government asked the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] in an amicus brief to uphold a lower court ruling that blocked enforcement of a section of the 2010 Arizona immigration law SB 1070 [text, PDF] that prohibits the harboring of illegal aliens. In their brief, Mexico's lawyers argued [AP report] that the prohibition harms diplomatic relations between the US and Mexico and encourages the marginalization of Mexicans and individuals who appear to be Latin American. In addition, the brief stated, "Mexico cannot conduct effective negotiations with the United States when the foreign policy decisions of the federal governments are undermined by the individual policies of individual states" The harboring ban had been in effect since its inception in July 2010 until it was struck down [JURIST report] by the US District Court for the District of Arizona in September. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer [official website], who signed the bill into law, appealed [JURIST report] the lower court's injunction in late September.
Immigration laws [JURIST backgrounder] have become a hot button issue over the past few years, as many states, Arizona being the first, passed laws giving state and local officials more power to crack down on illegal immigration. In June, the US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [JURIST report] in Arizona v. United States [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] to strike down sections of the Arizona law, but upheld the controversial portion allowing police officers to check immigration status of anyone arrested. In August, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit [official website] struck down [JURIST report] several provisions of Alabama's controversial law HB 56 [text, PDF], upheld a few sections of the law and rejected part of Georgia's law HB 87 [text, PDF]. That same month, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [official website] again heard arguments for the second time [JURIST report] on two immigration 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 immigration law SB 20 [text], despite the Supreme Court's ruling. The lawsuit against the South Carolina immigration law had been put on hold [JURIST report] in January pending the outcome of Arizona v. United States.