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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Court Strikes Down Key Parts of SB1070

Arizona's much maligned SB 1070 was set to take effect at midnight tonight, but a federal judge today ordered key components of the state's attempt to protect itself from the violence and fiscal strain caused by the influx of illegal aliens crossing the southern border.

Though several components of the law were upheld and will be allowed to take effect, an injunction was issued to prevent the most controversial measures' implementation.

Section 2, subsection (b) of the law required state law enforcement officers to make a reasonable attempt to verify a person's immigration status if:
  • A lawful stop, detention, or arrest occurred;
  • Reasonable suspicion existed that the person was an illegal alien; and
  • Such an attempt was practical;

The order does not specifically prevent an officer from checking a suspected illegal alien's status, but blocks the requirement that an officer do so. Some legal experts speculate the striking of this section will expose any law enforcement agencies and officers who attempt verification to lawsuits. These experts predict the likelihood of litigation will effectively prevent attempts to verify the legal status of immigrants by state law enforcement. Section 3, part (a) of SB 1070 would have made any illegal alien guilty of "willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document" if was in violation of 8 USC 1304e or 1306a. This is the section opponents said would require all Arizonans to "carry their papers." What they refused to acknowledge, and the wording of Judge Bolton's order obfuscates, is all immigrants/aliens over 18 years old are already required to apply for and carry documentation of their legal status according to federal law.

8 USC 1304e

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. Any alien who fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall upon conviction for each offense be fined not to exceed $100 or be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.

8 USC 1306a

Willful failure to register Any alien required to apply for registration and to be fingerprinted in the United States who willfully fails or refuses to make such application or to be fingerprinted, and any parent or legal guardian required to apply for the registration of any alien who willfully fails or refuses to file application for the registration of such alien shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not to exceed $1,000 or be imprisoned not more than six months, or both.
It's important to understand federal law already requires immigrants/aliens to both register for and carry (at all times) immigration documents. Accordingly, to be in violation of section 3, part (a) of SB 1070, a person would have to already be in violation of federal law--a federal law the Obama administration refuses to enforce! Judge Bolton's enjoining this section effectively guarantees illegal aliens the right to violate federal law with impunity.

Section 5, subsection (c) of SB 1070 would have declared it unlawful for an "unauthorized" alien to seek or perform work in Arizona. An "unauthorized" alien is specifically defined in this section as "AN ALIEN WHO DOES NOT HAVE THE LEGAL RIGHT OR AUTHORIZATION UNDER FEDERAL LAW TO WORK IN THE UNITED STATES AS DESCRIBED IN 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1324a(h)(3)." Here again, Judge Bolton is guaranteeing illegal aliens the right to violate federal law without fear of punishment.

Section 6, subsection (a), part 5 of SB 1070 would have given Arizona law enforcement officers the authority to arrest a person, without obtaining a warrant, if the officer had probable cause to believe the person had committed an offense that "makes the person removable from the United States." In other words, if probable cause existed to make the officer believe the person committed some act punishable by deportation, the officer would have authority to detain said individual.

In striking down this section, it appears officers will be required to seek warrants before they arrest an illegal alien who has committed an offense that warrants deportation. Of course, while law enforcement awaits a court order the illegal alien isn't likely to wait around. He'll be long gone, and on the loose, before any such warrant is issued.

Though the rest of the law will go into effect tonight, Judge Bolton seems has done the bidding of the Obama administration and other the other left-wing groups who refuse to acknowledge the hardships inflicted on our nation, and especially the border states, by the tide of illegal immigrants streaming over our southern border. Stripping the law of its most potent provisions, Bolton has pulled the teeth of the law the Grand Canyon State hoped would be the guard dog that would protect her borders and her citizens.


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