Published August 09, 2012
Arizona is moving ever closer to implementing the new regulation authorizing law enforcement to question the immigration status of people suspected of being in the country illegally, a measure approved by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The decision about when Section 2(b) of state law SB 1070, known as the "show me your papers" provision, will enter into force is now once again in the hands of U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton.
At any time, Bolton could remove the injunction on the controversial regulation that she herself ordered in 2010, just before SB 1070 entered into force.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals announced its decision on Wednesday, a move that ratifies the decision of the Supreme Court, and sent the case back to the district court in Phoenix.
Experts said that this decision could take several weeks, because several organizations have filed a motion asking Bolton to block enforcement of show me your papers.
This motion argues that Section 2(b) will lead to the unconstitutional detention of people and racial profiling against Hispanics, without regard to their immigration status.
"We're asking for the judge to take into account our request to halt the implementation based on examples we're going to present next week concerning people who are being detained for longer periods to verify their immigration status," Alessandra Soler, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, told Efe on Thursday.
Soler said that they are hoping that the judge waits to analyze the pending case before ordering that the regulation - which has caused great fear among Arizona's immigrant community - enter into force.
Arizona has until Friday to respond to the motion filed by the ACLU and other organizations and Bolton gave a period of an additional week for the plaintiffs to respond, and so the decision should come after Aug. 17.
Soler said that when the Supreme Court announced its ruling in June, it did not say that Section 2(b) was constitutional, but rather that there was not "sufficient evidence" to block the provision.
"This is what we're focusing on right now, giving more examples to the court of how more people are being detained simply to verify their immigration status despite the fact that the regulation is not in force," said the ACLU director.
Despite the fact that Arizona police chiefs and sheriffs have said that they will not use racial profiling when applying the new regulation, cases are being reported of people who are being detained for minor infractions who are later questioned about their immigration status.
One case was that of Maria Rodriguez, who last week was stopped by police in Tucson when she was driving with her children in the car.
"When I told the police officer that I didn't have a drivers license, he immediately called the Border Patrol," Rodriguez told Efe.
She said that her daughters were also detained and the three of them were taken to the Border Patrol station.
Because the minors qualified for deferred action, which postpones the deportations of undocumented children, the three were released, although they must soon appear before an immigration judge. EFE