Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Judge Agrees With Me

The United States District Court in Arizona has issued a preliminary injunction against enforcement of Arizona SB1070, the new controversial immigration law. From the decision of District Court Judge Susan Bolton (footnotes omitted, the Id refers to Hines v. Davidowitz 312 U.S. 52 (1941)):

First, the United States argues that this provision “necessarily places lawfully present aliens (and even U.S. citizens) in continual jeopardy of having to demonstrate their lawful status to non-federal officials.” (Id. at 26.) The United States further asserts that there are numerous categories of lawfully-present aliens “who will not have readily available documentation to demonstrate that fact,” including foreign visitors from Visa Waiver Program countries,8 individuals who have applied for asylum but not yet received an adjudication, people with temporary protected status, U and T non-immigrant visa applicants, or people who have self-petitioned for relief under the Violence Against Women Act. (Id. at 26-27.)
Also, the United States points out that United States citizens are not required to carry identification, and some citizens might not have easy access to a form of identification that would satisfy the requirement of Section 2(B)

The United States contends that the impact on lawfully-present aliens of the requirement that law enforcement officials, where practicable, check the immigration status of a person lawfully stopped, detained, or arrested where there is reasonable suspicion that the person is an alien and is unlawfully present will be exacerbated by several factors. (Id. at 28-29.) First, the United States suggests that the impact on lawfully-present aliens is enhanced because this requirement applies to stops for even very minor, non-criminal violations of state law, including jaywalking, failing to have a dog on a leash, or riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. (Id. at 28.) Also, the United States argues that the impact will be increased because other provisions in S.B. 1070 put pressure on law enforcement agencies and officials to enforce the immigration laws vigorously. (Id. at 29.)

Hines cautions against imposing burdens on lawfully-present aliens such as those described above. See 312 U.S. at 73-74. Legal residents will certainly be swept up by this requirement, particularly when the impacts of the provisions pressuring law enforcement agencies to enforce immigration laws are considered.