Arizona: Federal judge upholds controversial section of ‘show your papers’ immigration law
A US federal judge upheld a part of Arizona’s controversial ‘show your papers” immigration law in a 4 September ruling. US District Judge Susan Bolton rejected claims that the challenged section of the law discriminated against Latinos.
According to Voice of America, the Friday (4 September) ruling was the last of seven challenges to the controversial 2010 law. The section in question permits Arizona police to check the immigration status of anyone they stop.
Bolton stated that immigration rights activists failed to “produce any evidence that state law enforcement officials will enforce SB1070 differently for Latinos than a similarly situated person of another race or ethnicity”.
The federal judge also upheld a section of the law that allowed police to check the immigration status, whether an individual is in the US illegally, of any detainee. Voice of America reported that Bolton voided any laws targeting day labourers.
“We will continue working on behalf of our courageous plaintiffs to show that Arizona can do better than this disgraceful law,” Karen Tumlin, legal director of the National Immigration Law Center, said in a statement. According to the Los Angeles Times, it is unclear whether challengers will appeal the ruling.
In contrast, former Arizona state Senator Russell Pearce, who initially sponsored the legislation, applauded the judge’s ruling, the Los Angeles Times reported. “She made it very clear the law was written very carefully not to be a race issue. It’s not a racial law,” Pearce said.
According to Voice of America, the recent ruling follows two days after a federal judge approved a deal between the US Department of Justice and Arizona’s Maricopa County resolving accusations of civil rights abuses and dropping the department’s suit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies.