Skip to comments.Civil rights groups shift focus on SB 1070
Posted on 10/12/2012 7:53:10 AM PDT by SandRat
PHOENIX Civil rights groups are dropping their bid to stop police from enforcing the "papers please provision of SB 1070, at least for the time being.
Linton Joaquin of the National Immigration Law Center said it makes little sense to spend time appealing last months order by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton letting the law take effect. That followed a Supreme Court ruling in June saying there was no basis for her original 2010 injunction declaring the provision was pre-empted by federal law.
And Bolton specifically denied a request by the civil rights groups for a new preliminary injunction, this one based on claims that the law will necessarily lead to racial profiling.
The groups had taken their case to the 9the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. But on Wednesday they withdrew the case.
"Were going to be focusing on the permanent injunction, said Victor Viramontes of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. That means taking the time to convince Bolton that there are problems with the law rather than seeking to have it blocked temporarily while they prepare their arguments.
Viramontes said that time could play in favor of the challengers.
Thats because police will now be out enforcing the section of the law which requires them to question those they have stopped about their immigration status if there is reason to believe they are in this country illegally. And that, Viramontes said, will create a "record of situations where the law is being applied in a discriminatory fashion.
That record could prove crucial.
In seeking the temporary injunction, the challengers argued the law cannot be fairly enforced. They also cited statements of some of the measures legislative supporters which they said prove the measure was enacted for the express purpose of discriminating against Hispanics.
But Bolton said all that is legally irrelevant, at least at this point. She said the June order by the Supreme Court pretty much ruled out this kind of pre-emptive challenge to the law.
The judge, however, said challengers remain free to continue their bid to convince her that the law is discriminatory and therefore unconstitutional. And some specific examples of profiling might be just the evidence needed.
The American Civil Liberties Union, another of the challengers, already has set up a telephone hotline to take complaints of those who say they have been victims of discrimination.
Wednesdays action does not end the battles over the legislation at the federal appellate court.
Attorneys for the state are challenging a separate ruling by Bolton striking down a section of SB 1070 which makes it a state crime to block traffic to seek employment. The judge said the measure, aimed at day laborers many of the illegal immigrants is an overly broad restriction on individual rights.
The state also is appealing a more recent ruling by Bolton voiding another SB 1070 provision which makes it illegal for someone to harbor or transport someone they know is in this country illegally. The judge said that was an illegal intrusion by the state into the exclusive province of the federal government.