The ruling was a complete victory for the Obama Administration. Judge Susan Bolton accepted every major argument the administration made: That the power to regulate immigration lies exclusively with the federal government, and that the Arizona law will burden legal aliens and U.S. citizens.
Bolton said Congress has created a complex framework to regulate immigration, and that the most controversial provisions in the Arizona law interfere with that framework--despite the state's efforts to address a serious problem.
"The Court by no means disregards Arizona's interests in controlling illegal immigration and addressing the concurrent problems with crime, including the trafficking of humans, drugs, guns and money," Bolton wrote. "Even though Arizona's interests may be consistent with those of the federal government, it is not in the public interest for Arizona to enforce preempted laws."
The ruling was swiftly denounced by groups that have supported the law. William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration, said they would continue the fight.
"For this judge and the Obama Administration to actively thwart the will of the people and our republican form of governance is anti-constitutional," Gheen said. "A lot of Americans are going to be enraged when they hear this news."
The ruling--which will be appealed--could also chill efforts in 20 states to pass similar laws.
Bolton blocked the most controversial parts of the law:
SECTION TWO: Requiring police to make a reasonable attempt to determine immigration status during a lawful stop, where the officer reasonably suspects the person is illegally in the country.
The Administration argued this section was preempted because it would result in harassment of lawfully present aliens and burden federal resources.
Bolton agreed. "Requiring Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies to determine the immigration status of every person who is arrested burdens lawfully-present aliens because their liberty will be restricted while their status is checked."
"All arrestees will be required to prove their immigration status to the satisfaction of state authorities, thus increasing the intrusion of police presence into the lives of legally-present aliens (and even United States citizens), which will necessarily be swept up by this requirement."
SECTION THREE: Making it a state crime for failing to complete or carry registration papers.
Bolton: Also preempted because it would interfere with federal policy on immigration and burden lawful aliens and citizens.
SECTION FIVE: Making it a crime for an alien to work or try to get a job.
Bolton: Also preempted. Federal law and policy has focused on employers, not on employees, except where aliens use false documents.More on the Arizona ruling:
Judge Hands Victory to AZ Immigration Law Foes
Read Judge Bolton's Decision
Tension Builds As Arizona Immigration Law Looms
Arizona Helped Deport 26,000 without New Law
Ariz. Gov. Seeks Dismissal of Immigration Suit
Neo-Nazi Group Patrolling U.S. Border
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