On July 28, 2010 the federal district court issued an injunction to part of the highly publicized and talked about immigration bill in Arizona, known through-out the country as SB 1070.
Practically speaking, this means that part of the bill is not enforceable until the appellate courts determine its constitutionality. Judge Susan Bolton had to read the bill piece by piece and line by line using the appropriate legal standards, statutes, and case law, to determine which provisions of the bill were constitutional, and which were not.
When the United States brought the lawsuit against the state of Arizona, their main legal argument was that Arizona could not make immigration law, because that is a power given only to the Federal Government. Arizona argued that this bill added to already existing Arizona statutes and that Arizona was not stepping on or over, the current federal laws. The legal principal at issue is known as Federal Preemption.
For the most part, the decision of the court at this point was to allow Arizona to continue to enforce some parts of the bill. The sections of the law left in place include:
- Making it a crime to knowingly or intentionally employ an illegal alien
- Requiring employers to check for the immigration eligibility of an employee
- Making it a crime to smuggle human being across the border
- Making it a crime to stop a car to pick up day laborers if it interrupts the normal flow of traffic
- Impounding vehicles that were used for transportation or harboring people who are unlawfully in the United States
- Allowing Arizona to create the Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission Fund
This order also prevents Arizona law enforcement from enforcing some of the bill. The sections of the law struck down by the court include:
- Making it a crime for persons not to carry their registration papers
- Having the status of a person’s immigration checked before releasing them from custody
- Allowing a warrantless arrest based on probable cause of a person who is believed to have committed a crime that would subject them to removal from the United States
To read the entire decision, click on here.
The Arizona Supreme Court also addressed the federal court’s decision on SB 1070. Soon after the federal court’s ruling the Arizona Supreme Court released an Administrative Order regarding the bill. The Order made changes to procedures and forms used when an illegal alien is arrested, or sentenced. For example, if a criminal defendant is sentenced, including even to pay a fine, and it has been found that the defendant is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, the judge must include this fact in the sentencing report. Then the clerk of the court must submit that report to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office.
The form used at the time of arrest will be modified to include a place for the law enforcement agent to ask the person in custody for his place of birth, country of citizenship, and amount of time present in the United States. The form also includes a place for the law enforcement agent to spell out what the reasonable suspicion was that prompted the law enforcement agent to make the arrest, and a reminder to the agent to check with Federal Immigration Agencies to verify the immigration status of the defendant.
If you have a question about a specific legal issue, please contact The Koplow Law Firm.
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The Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog is published by the Attorneys at the Koplow Law Firm. Our criminal practice experience includes a wide variety of defense representation and cases; and is led by Lawrence Koplow, a former prosecutor with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.
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