Thursday, November 21, 2019

No Rulings Yet From Hearings on Arizona Law

Yesterday, a federal judge in Phoenix Arizona grilled attorneys on both sides of Arizona’s anti-immigration law.

A coalition of civil rights groups and the Justice Department both made their case against S.B. 1070 in separate hearings. Both parties called on U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton to issue an injunction on the law (set to be enacted soon) until their lawsuits can be heard in federal court. The judge has yet to make a ruling for either side.

Bolton spared no side with her questions surrounding the anti-immigration legislation.

The judge told Omar Jadwat, the attorney representing the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education fund, that he was making a presumption about what Congress intended after he stated that federal lawmakers wanted to preempt what Arizona has done with a provision of SB 1070 making it a violation of state law for undocumented workers to try to get work.

“Or did they just not deal with it?” asked Bolton.

The attorney representing Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, John Bouma, was grilled with questions surrounding how long the legislation will require police to detain individuals under suspicion of being undocumented until their immigration status is checked with federal officials. Bolton pointed that the law could result in detaining tens of thousand of people “who otherwise could be cited and released.”

After Bouma said that lawmakers meant to apply that only to people who actually are taken into custody and “booked” into jail, Bolton responded with “That’s what they should have said then.”

The judge is attempting to weigh each of the provisions in the law to determine if there is sufficient legal reason to bar any or all of them from taking effect as scheduled on July 29.

For their part the Justice Department argued that the law would cause “irreparable harm” and intrude into federal immigration enforcement.

Judge Bolton has not indicated how she will rule and has said she is taking the matter “under advisement.” Outside the court house, Maria Calderon remarked, “The law is racist. The police are harassing us because of our brown skin.” She sat next to a painting of the Virgin Mary affixed with a sign saying “Stop SB1070.”

Arizona Daily Star

The Washington Post

Comments

  1. It’s still hard to believe thest types of racist laws could possibly become enacted in this day and age.

  2. Joel McNabb says

    Hi, my name is Joel and I look Latino but I am not. My ancestors are Irish and Italian but I have olive skin and dark hair. I am pretty sure I would fit the profile of any person that Gov. Jan Brewer is trying to target. This law is unfair and discriminatory. I am afraid for people that look Latino like me and those that are.