Key Parts of Immigration Law in Arizona Blocked

United States District Court Judge Susan Bolton in Phoenix has blocked some of the more controversial parts of Arizona’s immigration enforcement law from going into effect but otherwise ruled that law can take effect. The overall law will still take effect Thursday, but without the some of the more controversial provisions  — such as the sections that required officers to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.

Judge Bolton also put on hold parts of the law that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times, and made it illegal for undocumented workers to solicit employment in public places. The judge further ruled that those sections should be put on hold until the courts resolve the issues. Other provisions of the law, many of them procedural and slight revisions to existing Arizona immigraiton statute, will go into effect at 12:01 AM Thursday.

From the New York Times:

The parts of the law that the judge blocked included the sections that called for officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws and that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times. Judge Bolton put those sections on hold until the issues are resolved by the courts.

The judge’s decision, which came as demonstrators opposed and supporting the law gathered here and after three hearings in the past two weeks in which she peppered lawyers on both sides with skeptical questions, seemed unlikely to quell the debate.

The ruling came four days before 1,200 National Guard troops are to report to the Southwest border to assist federal and local law enforcement agencies there, part of the Obama administration’s response to growing anxiety over the border and immigration that has fed support for the law.

Lawyers for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican who signed the law and is campaigning on it for election, were expected to appeal, and legal experts predict the case is bound for the United States Supreme Court.

The law, adopted in April, was aimed at discouraging illegal immigrants from entering or remaining in the state.

It coincided with economic anxiety and followed a number of high-profile crimes attributed to illegal immigrants and smuggling, though federal data suggests crime is falling in Arizona, as it is nationally, despite a surge of immigration.

Seven lawsuits have been filed against the law, challenging its constitutionality and alleging it will lead to racial profiling.

The Justice Department lawsuit was among the more high profile, filed after President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder condemned the law.

Susan Bolton is a Federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Jon Kyl, Bolton was nominated to the United States District Court for the District of Arizona by President Bill Clinton. She joined the court after being unanimously confirmed by the Senate in October 2000.

Below the fold, the full text of Judge Bolton's ruling.

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Quick Hits

Here are some other stories making news today.

The Los Angeles Times U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton says the provision in Arizona's immigration law that makes lacking immigration documents a crime may violate prior rulings that bar states from creating their own immigrant registration systems.

A House committee has filed ethics charges against Rep. Charles Rangel, the former Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee. An adjudicatory subcommittee will hold a public organizational meeting on July 29th. The story in The Hill.

The Hutch News of Hutchinson, Kansas has withdrawn its endorsement of Tracey Mann in the GOP Primary in the First Congressional District in Kansas citing his birther views.

Fresh off a weekend jaunt to Maine, President Barack Obama and his family will vacation on the Florida Gulf Coast next month, the White House said Thursday. The Obamas are scheduled to travel to the coast on Aug. 14 and stay the weekend. Expect the right wing to go crazy over another Obama vacation. Just to set the record straight, 18 months in his Presidency George W. Bush had taken 120 days of time off. The Obamas, so far, have taken 65 days of vacation.

The Incidental Economist has a post on why the US spends more on healthcare than any other country. Fee-for-service payment arrangements, which predominate the health care industry, are one of the major factors driving the increased service intensity and thus largely responsible for driving up costs.

Must be a record of some kind. From the Las Vegas Sun: "In the warehouse of a family-owned clean diesel manufacturer in Sparks, Angle delivered a three-minute speech on her desire to permanently repeal the estate tax. When invited by the final speaker to stay and answer a few questions, she turned on her heel and rushed out a back door with a small cadre of staff members."

Army. Lt. Dan Choi, one of the most outspoken critics of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy that bars gays and lesbians from serving openly in the US Military, has been honorably discharged from the Army. More from CNN.

Dueling Sheriffs in Arizona GOP Senate Primary Ads

Tea Party darling J.D. Hayworth has the endorsement of Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County so what's a sitting Senator to do but trot out 12 other sheriffs in the hopes of staving off a primary defeat.

JD Hayworth Ad

John McCain Ad

The McCain spot, titled appropriately enough "Sheriffs," is set to run state-wide in Arizona over the two weeks, according to McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers. The Arizona primary is scheduled for August 24th. 

CNN has more on the Arizona GOP Senate primary. It's interesting that in his ad, McCain seeks to blame the current Administration on immigration when in reality the Obama Administration has rather quietly stepped up immigration enforcement in ways that are not dissimilar to practices being proposed in Arizona. As Salon's Daniel Denvir writes "under Obama, immigration enforcement has actually been characterized by the very same heightened collaboration between local police and federal immigration authorities that many find so troubling in Arizona, and it's prompting objections from city leaders across the country." And the Obama administration has replaced immigration raids at factories and farms with a quieter but more effective enforcement strategy: sending federal agents to scour companies' records for illegal immigrant workers.

As the New York Times reported just a week ago over the past year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has conducted audits of employee files at more than 2,900 companies. The agency has levied a record $3 million in civil fines so far this year on businesses that hired unauthorized immigrants, according to official figures. Immigrant groups estimate that the Administration's tactics have led to the firing, but not necessarily the deportation, of thousands of illegal immigrants. The other fact ignored is that many immigrants have returned home as economic opportunities have dried up here in the United States.

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