Arizona Illegal Immigration Law Gets Final Go-Ahead from Court

Article excerpt

Law enforcement authorities in Arizona are now required to check the immigration status of individuals they suspect are in the country illegally According to a federal judges ruling Wednesday, the provision in the states immigration law is constitutional, leaving open the possibility of a legal challenge by potential victims.

The ruling by US District Judge Susan Bolton is the latest chapter in the two-year legal battle between the states highest officials and the Obama administration over which level of government has ultimate authority regarding immigration policy. The Wednesday ruling affirms a decision in June by the US Supreme Court regarding the provision, which critics have called show me your papers.

In a statement Wednesday, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) lauded Judge Boltons ruling, saying the provision, which is part of a broader state law, makes a clear statement that [Arizona] will not tolerate sanctuary city policies, and will now have thousands of additional officers to collaborate with the federal government as state and local law enforcement do what they always have enforce the law.

Could you pass a US citizenship test?

The law allows law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of individuals during a legal stop or detention. Critics say it borders on racial profiling while supporters say the law is a necessary and affordable step to blocking illegal immigration, especially in an era of diminishing resources.

The provision is expected to be enacted within days. Only until then will it be tested, which could potentially lead to legal challenges.

Victim advocacy groups, such as Respect-Respeto in Phoenix, say they are organizing call centers to track possible civil rights violations. Similar efforts are underway in Georgia and Alabama where a US District Court ruling in Atlanta upheld similar provisions in those states in late August.

Michael Innis-Jimnez, a professor of Latino, immigration, and labor studies at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, says, at this point its going to take a legal challenge to ultimately block the provision, which could take months, or even years. …