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Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction Against Arizona Immigration Statute

Judge Bolton also struck down Section 3 of S.B. 1070, which makes it a state crime to violate federal alien registration requirements and therefore "stands as an obstacle to the uniform, federal registration scheme and is therefore an impermissible attempt by Arizona to regulate alien registration." She also enjoined implementation of Arizona's restrictions on employment of illegal aliens and on hiring them. She graciously left standing, however, the prohibitions against blocking roads to solicit employment and against blocking roads to hire people.

Judge Bolton also enjoined implementation of Section 6 of S.B. 1070, which provides that an officer may arrest a person without a warrant if he has probable cause (as distinguished from a mere reasonable suspicion) to believe that "the person to be arrested has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States." This, she concluded, was far too complicated for normal Arizona law enforcement officers to understand and therefore to implement since it applies to offenses thought to have been committed in Arizona as well as elsewhere in the United States and seems to require knowledge of what constitutes crimes in other states and knowledge of whether they might also be crimes in Arizona as well as whether the offense might invoke deportation by the federal government. The latter would require a complex determination within the exclusive authority of busy federal officials, thereby overburdening them.

However, she did not enjoin the Arizona statute making it a criminal offense to:

[T]ransport or move or attempt to transport or move an alien in Arizona in furtherance of the alien’s unlawful presence in the United States; (2) conceal, harbor, or shield or attempt to conceal, harbor, or shield an alien from detection in Arizona; and (3) encourage or induce an alien to come to or live in Arizona.

This, she held, neither attempts to regulate who should or should not be admitted into the United States nor regulates the conditions under which legal entrants may remain in the United States. King Solomon, who offered to cut a baby in half to resolve a dispute between two women over its custody, might be proud, but I doubt it.

As noted here:

The only factually plausible objection to S.B. 1070’s document requirement and to the provision authorizing inquiries into an alien’s status is that Arizona may penalize someone for being in the country illegally whom the federal government intends to ignore. It is the effect of the law on illegal aliens, not on legal ones, that has most upset the Obama administration and illegal-alien advocates.

The laws of the United States, properly enforced, would accord greater importance to the rights and safety of citizens and legal immigrants, rather than of undocumented Democrats unlawfully present foreigners.