Significant Portions of SB 1070 Enjoined by US District Court

US District Court Decision enjoins significant portions of Arizona’s controversial law SB 1070 set to go into effect tomorrow, July 29, 2010.

The Court’s ruling was issued earlier today and validates many of the Obama Administration’s arguments regarding preemption, while recognizing Arizona’s significant concerns over the ancillary effects of illegal immigration to the State. The Judge stated, “if Arizona were to enforce the portions of S.B. 1070 for which the Court has found a likelihood of preemption, such enforcement would likely burden legal resident aliens and interfere with federal policy. A preliminary injunction would allow the federal government to continue to pursue federal priorities, which is inherently in the public interest, until a final judgment is reached in this case.

Most significant is the Judge’s decision to enjoin Section 6 of S.B. 1070, which the Arizona Legislature revised A.R.S. § 13-3883 to provide that an officer may arrest a person without a warrant if the officer has probable cause to believe that “the person to be arrested has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States.” A.R.S. § 13-3883(A)(5). The Judge determined that this provision had a strong likelihood of preememption due to the complicated scheme of federal immigration laws and policies, as well as the discretion given to federal officials to make decisions in individual cases about removability. Because of this complicated scheme and the discretion given to federal immigration officials, it would be extremely difficult for an Arizona law enforcement officer to make a determination as to whether a particular offense would lead to removability or not.

An appeal of the ruling by Arizona is likely.

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