Thursday, July 29, 2010

A narrow rebuke of Arizona's immigration law

Washington Post
July 29, 2010

The Decision by U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton to block the enforcement of several provisions of a controversial Arizona immigration law is a good first step toward reversing a discriminatory measure that should never have been adopted.

Most important, Judge Bolton was right to prevent state law enforcement officers from demanding immigration papers from those they "reasonably" believe are in the United States illegally. The judge noted that such stops would probably mean that legal residents and U.S. citizens would be "swept up" by this obnoxious and patently xenophobic requirement. She also put a hold on enforcement of a new provision that would have subjected immigrants to criminal penalties for failing to apply for or carry alien registration papers. These provisions were set to go into effect Thursday. The judge must decide in coming weeks whether the parts of the law she froze in place should be permanently struck down as unconstitutional.