State Capitol News
3:41 pm
Thu July 15, 2010

Brewer Tells Judge She Should Not Delay Immigration Law Any Longer

Phoenix, AZ – There are several factors a judge must consider when deciding
whether to issue an injunction. One of those is a balance of
hardships -- who will suffer irreparable harm depending on
whether the law is or is not allowed to take effect. Attorney
Stephen Montoya who represents Phoenix police officer David
Salgado said his client is being harmed because he's being forced
to choose between enforcing a law he believes is unconstitutional
and putting his job at risk.

(He has a duty to enforce the law. And, remember, he's suing as a
police officer who's also an employee. And as you know, employees
can be fired when they don't follow the employer's rules. And
this is one of those rules that can result in his termination.)

But John Bouma, the governor's lawyer, said any claim by Salgago
of harm is purely speculative. By contrast, he said the state
will be harmed if it doesn't start enforcing its new law aimed at
illegal immigrants. And he scoffed at the idea that putting the
law on hold until there is a trial wouldn't hurt the state.

(If you think the situation we have now is good and that people
aren't being irreparably harmed every day, and that the economy
isn't getting hurt by the amount of money we have to spend on
education and crime and hospitalization, things like that, if
that's your concept, let it keep tick, let it keep running, then
I guess we don't have much irreparable harm, do we?)

Montoya is challenging only a few sections of the law set to take
effect July 29. One is a mandate that police who have stopped
someone must, when practicable, make a reasonable effort to
determine that person's immigration status if there is reasonable
suspicion that individual is an illegal immigrant. Montoya said
that and other provisions conflict with and are preempted by
federal immigration laws. Bouma disagreed.

(A lot of these laws are very consistent with federal law. And
the federal law is in such a way that, in many respects, it
encourages the assistance of state and local authorities in
enforcing federal immigration laws.)

Montoya also complained about a provision which says anyone
arrested for any crime, no matter how minor, cannot be released
until police verify that person's immigration status. He said
that could harm U.S. citizens -- citizens like his grandmother
who has no birth certificate because she was born on a rural
ranch and no Arizona license because she doesn't drive. Judge
Susan Bolton gave no indication when she will rule. For Arizona
Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.