While certain sections of Arizona's SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration law have been blocked by a preliminary injunction in federal court, the battle over the controversial Arizona measure is far from over. Nor is the measure itself, as portions of it will still take effect today as scheduled.
So what takes effect and what doesn't? Wednesday morning's ruling in Phoenix by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton blocked the sections of the law that conflicted most with federal law. Among these were provisions that drew the most concern from opponents who feared racial profiling, such as one that would require local officers to attempt to determine the immigration status of individuals they stop or detain if there is "reasonable suspicion" the person is illegally in the country. The judge ruled on the basis of federal law pre-empting the state law.
Hundreds of SB 1070 opponents were still gathered on a lawn outside the capitol building Wednesday night, attending a late-night Catholic Mass.
Maria Villalpando of Phoenix, 59, had an interesting story to tell about why she was there. She was born in the United States, she said, but her family returned to Mexico shortly after her birth because her father was deported. She grew up in Mexico, not returning until her teens when her family moved to Los Angeles, where she attended high school as a U.S.-born English learner.
"I was lucky that I was born in the United States," she said. "But I know how it feels to be an immigrant."
Some of those at the evening service planned to camp out by the capitol overnight; others said they would return early in the morning for a procession to an interfaith service at a downtown cathedral.
A vendor wheels a cart laden with paletas, Mexican-style frozen fruit pops, to sell to anti-SB 1070 demonstrators outside the capitol building on a sweltering Phoenix afternoon. "I'm here because of the law," he said. "But I'm also working, because I need to survive."
A crowd of about 200 opponents of Arizona's anti-illegal immigration law has been braving the afternoon heat outside the state capitol in Phoenix, gathered to celebrate a federal judge's decision this morning to block some of the more controversial components of the law, which would have empowered local police to check for immigration status.
The mood was celebratory, but only tentatively so. "The law is not completely gone," said Marta Delgado, a 45-year-old Phoenix hairdresser and legal resident. "The battle is just beginning."
The ruling allows some sections of the law to go forward, and a state appeal is planned. A series of rallies and other events are planned for tomorrow.
Quite literally while I was in mid-air en route to Arizona, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton in Phoenix issued a ruling on SB 1070. Some aspects of the law can go into effect, but she has issued a preliminary injunction against its more controversial sections, which empowered local officers to check individuals' immigration status while conducting other law enforcement, and required immigrants to carry documents. Republican Gov. Jan Brewer said the state will likely appeal the ruling. More to come.