BREAKING: Judge orders partial injunction of SB 1070

by Dennis Chin, guest blogger

Today, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton issued a partial injunction on the most controversial sections of Arizona's new immigration law, popularly known as SB 1070.

Those sections of SB 1070 that will not go into effect Thursday, from AZ Central:

  • The portion of the law that requires an officer make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested if there's reasonable suspicion they're in the country illegally.
  • The portion that creates a crime of failure to apply for or carry "alien-registration papers."
  • The portion that makes it a crime for illegal immigrants to solicit, apply for or perform work. (This does not include the section on day laborers.)
  • The portion that allows for a warrantless arrest of a person where there is probable cause to believe they have committed a public offense that makes them removable from the United States.

This is a victory for sure but let's remember that this still doesn't solve the human rights crisis happening in Arizona.  First, this is just a temporary stop to a few sections of the law.  Second, there are still several enforcement pieces that will move forward (For example, Bolton did not halt the part of the law that creates misdemeanors crimes for harboring and transporting illegal immigrants nor halt the part of the law that makes it illegal to solicit work on street corners - this directly impacts day laborers).  And lastly, ICE programs such as 287g still give license to local law enforcement license to conduct raids and sweeps.

Now that judge has issued preliminary injunction, what really needs to happen is just and humane immigration reform on a federal level.  We can't enforce our way out of immigration.  Rather, we need to understand that politicians introducing legislation like SB 1070 are using this as a wedge issue (and as a way to secure votes).   And lastly, we need  to understand that what we really need are solutions that recognize immigrants' full contributions to our communities, provide pathways to citizenship and protect the rights of ALL workers, native and foreign-born.

Photo:  Jorge Neri, Center for Community Change