Preliminary Injunction Blocks Key Provisions of Arizona Immigration Statute
Following the Department of Justice’s challenge to Arizona’s recently passed immigration law, S.B. 1070, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton of Phoenix, Arizona, issued a preliminary injunction against key provisions of the new statute. While not striking down the entire law, she blocked the provisions (1) requiring that an officer attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained, or arrested if there is a “reasonable suspicion” that the person is unlawfully present, and requiring verification of the immigration status of any person arrested before release; (2) creating a crime for the failure to apply for or carry alien registration papers; (3) creating a crime for an unauthorized alien to solicit, apply for, or perform work; and (4) authorizing the warrantless arrest of a person where there is probable cause to believe the person has committed a public offense that makes him or her removable from the U.S.
Meanwhile, the New York City Bar Association issued a report concluding that the new law is unconstitutional under the Supremacy Clause and the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments.
The NYC Bar report notes that 10 states are currently contemplating similar legislation, including Utah, Georgia, Colorado, Maryland, Ohio, North Carolina, Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Nebraska. The NYC Bar said that the substantive content of these state statutes, as manifested by S.B. 1070, “promotes racial profiling while infringing upon the exclusive role of the federal government to regulate immigration.” The NYC Bar noted that the Arizona statute “adopts a adopts a parallel immigration enforcement program to the one maintained by the federal government through the pretext of conflating civil and criminal provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.” At the same time, the NYC Bar said, “the statute fails on due process and Fourth Amendment grounds, in that it offers insufficient guidance to officials administering it as to when ‘reasonable suspicions’ of unlawful presence exist, and will target the foreign-born.”
The report urged states to resist emulating Arizona’s statute, and noted that “[f]ailure to enact comprehensive immigration reform is providing the fuel for states to overreach in this area of exclusive federal regulation.”