Last Minute Ruling Holds Most Provisions of Arizona's Immigration Law

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Young people gather on the lawn of the State Capitol in Phoenix to protest passage of SB 1070 in April (Futuro Media Group)

Yesterday, just one day before Arizona's controversial immigration law was to go into effect, a federal judge put a last-minute hold on some of the most controversial parts of the law, including the requirement for immigrants to carry papers at all times, and the directive for officers to check the immigration status of people they detain for other reasons.

For civil rights groups who oppose the law, it's a last-minute reprieve. For law enforcement agencies who supported it, it's a disappointing setback. It's been a long three months for supporters and opponents alike since Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed S.B. 1070 into law on April 23rd. 

We'll be speaking with Latino USA's Maria Hinojosa about how Latino communities are looking at the ruling, and Marshall Larry Talvy, who polices Tombstone, Arizona, about what the down-to-the-wire ruling means for on-the-ground law enforcement.


Maria Hinojosa and Larry Talvy

Produced by:

Posey Gruener

Comments [8]


The lead-in to this story states: "a federal judge put a last-minute hold on some of the most controversial parts of the law, including the requirement for immigrants to carry papers at all times..."

That is an incorrect statement. It is an untrue statement with respect to Arizona SB 1070.

The law that requires legal aliens to carry their registration cards with them at all times is a federal law that has been in existence for many years and has never before been in controversey until, Arizona threatened to, uh, actually enforce it.

The federal law is Title 8 of the United States Code, Section 1304(e). The law says: "Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him pursuant to subsection (d) of this section."

The other comments here, that the law is intended to legalize the harassment of brown-skinned people at the polls, and that "conservatives" favored the prosecution of runaway slaves, are comments that are mostly beneath contempt. I shouldn't waste my time with them, but against my better judgment, here goes: SB 1070 does not allow racial profiling. It prohibits the use of racial bases for investigation. The Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board put it into plain English: "Officers shall not consider race or color in determining reasonable suspicion that a person is unlawfully present in the United States. If an officer does not have reasonable suspicion without reliance on race or color, then reasonable suspicion does not exist."

Jul. 29 2010 10:18 PM

Hey Christos,

Are you seriously comparing the laws and treatment of African Americans during the pre/post-Civil War period to the illegal immigration issue? I’m tired of the comparisons. As a social worker, I hear Hispanic kids telling African-American kids, “We need to stand together. We’re brothers”. No, we are all Americans!
But what is fair immigration law? How about the point system used by Canada, Australia and other countries? Or opening up the borders to all people? In this day, people can just as easily fly from the other side of the world than cross the Mexican border. With immigration, is the goal to strengthen our country, or is it to provide refuge?

Jul. 29 2010 08:55 PM

Well, Mike, that's too reminiscent of the pair of military guys walking up and saying, "Let me see your papers." Officers need a valid reason to accost a person, legal or illegal. If someone commits a crime, then bust 'em. If they turn out to be illegal, then deport 'em.

The porous border is the fundamental problem. Something more has to be done there.

Jul. 29 2010 10:14 AM

I don't know a single non-Spanish legal immigrant (including myself) who is pro-illegal immigration. As a 'brown-skinned' immigrant, all I see is that groups who have been in this country for hundreds of years, like the Native Indian and the African-American, who are owed a huge debt for their work in building America, are left behind in every way. The focus is on a group of people who are breaking the law, who are not 'American', but are supported by services at every turn. If not for this 'illegal group' we would put more energy into supporting those in this country legally with more of our resources making our children better educated, providing better healthcare, and in other ways.

Jul. 29 2010 10:11 AM
Christos from Detroit

It really bothers me when I hear conservatives hide behind the whole "its the law, we just want to enforce the law" argument. The point is, the law is broken and unfair.

Once upon a time, didn't conservatives use the same argument to prosecute escaped slaves and those who sheltered them?

We need to change the law and make it more fair, NOT amplify the most unfair aspects of our law.

Jul. 29 2010 09:44 AM
Mike from Nashville

I don't see where the problem lies in carrying documentation stating that you are in the country legally. When a U.S. citizen visits a foreign country we are tols to keep our passport and visa on us at all times. Additionally, if a U.S. citizen was arrested in a foreign country, one of the first things checked would be the validity of his/her passport and visa. Why do they think they're above this if they are indeed in this country legally? The last time I checked, one doesn't receive diplomatic immunity for merely jumping the Rio Grande.

Jul. 29 2010 09:21 AM

I'm not sure that that makes sense, Trey. Hispanics that are legal would not be deterred. I hope undocumented immigrants would not be voting....

Jul. 29 2010 08:57 AM
Trey from WDET-fm Detroit

It continues to amaze me that so few people haven['t realized yet that the purpose of the Arizona anti-immigrant law is to legalize the hassling of brown-skinned Arizonans at the polls in November!

Jul. 29 2010 08:23 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.