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Court upholds block on parts of Arizona immigration law

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled April 11 to continue to block key controversial provisions of the Arizona immigration law passed in 2010, according to The Washington Post. The law allows police officers to question people whom they have a "reasonable suspicion" are illegal immigrants.

In a July 2010 ruling, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton blocked provisions of the law that included requiring police officers to check immigration status if they stop someone while enforcing other laws; allowing for warrantless arrests of suspected illegal immigrants; and criminalizing immigrants' failure to carry registration papers.

The court ruled only on Bolton's order—not on whether the Arizona measure is legal; the Justice Department's move to have the law thrown out will proceed. However, the decision and the judges' opinions make it likely that the Justice Department's argument that the legislation is unconstitutional eventually will prevail.

"The Arizona statute before us has become a symbol," Judge John Noonan wrote in a concurring opinion. "For those sympathetic to immigrants in the U.S., it is a challenge and a chilling foretaste of what other states might attempt."


4/12/2011

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