United States District Judge Susan Bolton recently ruled that authorities in Arizona can now enforce the most controversial section of the state’s SB 1070 immigration law, a provision commonly known as the “show me your papers” provision. State police are now required to question the immigration status of arrestees that they may suspect are in the country illegally.
“In her ruling, Bolton said the court will not ignore the clear direction from the Supreme Court that the provision ‘cannot be challenged further on its face before the law takes effect,’” journalists Jacques Billeaud and Walter Berry wrote in their recent article for The Associated Press. “She reiterated the high court’s interpretation that the law might be able to be challenged as unconstitutional on other grounds.”
The issue has been the subject of a two-year battle that was brought to the Supreme Court this past spring. Opponents of the law believe it will lead to racial profiling. Judge Bolton rejected arguments made by civil rights attorneys, noting that the Supreme Court had supported the provision becoming a law.
When Governor Jan Brewer initially approved the provision in 2010, Arizona police were formally trained on how to uphold the law. Although some of the state’s most prominent officials criticized the idea, they publicly stated that they would obey the law.
Senator Russell Pearce wrote the initial law, and stated he does not expect large changes in how police will conduct themselves when the law takes effect.
“I’m not asking for roundups, I’m not asking for anything but paying attention and doing your job,” Pearce told the AP. “It’s not that we want people in jail. We want compliance.”
Opponents of the law, including the Obama Administration, believe that further litigation is imminent under the argument that federal immigration law should trump Arizona state law, according to Fox News.
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