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9th Circuit Upholds Stay on Arizona Immigration Law

Posted Apr 11, 2011 2:20 PM CDT
By Stephanie Francis Ward

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A U.S. district court judge did not abuse her discretion in blocking portions of Arizona’s 2010 law that aims to identify, prosecute and deport undocumented immigrants, the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today.

According to the Associated Press the law, known as the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, would require police to check immigration status while enforcing laws, among other things. The U.S. Justice Department sued to block the law shortly after it was signed by Gov. Jan Brewer. The action argues that the Arizona law violates the Supremacy Clause, on the basis that the state law is pre-empted by the Immigration and Nationality Act.

“In sum, we are not persuaded that Arizona has the inherent authority to enforce the civil provisions of federal immigration law,” Judge Richard Paez wrote in the opinion (PDF) for the 9th Circuit. “Therefore, Arizona must be federally authorized to conduct such enforcement. “

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