Controversial Provision in SB1070 is Now in Effect

Sep 18, 2012

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton formally dissolved the injunction she issued two years ago against the provision of SB 1070 that requires police to question those they have stopped about their immigration status if there is reason to believe they are in this country illegally.

 That came after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that there was no evidence that the Arizona law, on its face, conflicted with federal law. For the same reason, Bolton more recently rebuffed a request by a coalition of civil rights groups for a new injunction, this one based on claims the law is biased. Attorney Linton Joaquin of the National Immigration Law Center said there will be real harm to some people now that the law can be enforced.

"It's going to cause racial profiling," Joaquim said. "It's going to cause people to be stopped because of their appearance. And it's going to exacerbate the kind of problems that we've seen even without this provision."

Joaquin acknowledged police already can question those they have stopped about their immigration status. He said it is the mandate to check that will create problems as officers seek to verify legal presence of individuals.

"It's not an instantaneous determination whether somebody has immigration status," he said. "It is, in practice, going to lead to people being detained solely for the purpose of an immigration check."

Joaquin said foes of the law will continue to ask the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to block it, a request pending before the judges since last week.