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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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6/27/2012 10:00:00 PM
Fight over Arizona immigration law to be reignited
The Associated Press/Matt YorkIllegal immigrants from El Salvador are searched prior to boarding an MD-80 aircraft for a repatriation flight of 80 illegal immigrants back to their home country, Tuesday at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa.
The Associated Press/Matt York
Illegal immigrants from El Salvador are searched prior to boarding an MD-80 aircraft for a repatriation flight of 80 illegal immigrants back to their home country, Tuesday at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa.

PHOENIX (AP) - In the coming days, the fight over Arizona's immigration law will be reignited by opponents who will seek a court order in a bid to thwart a U.S. Supreme Court decision that says police can enforce the statute's most contentious section.

Groups that have already filed a challenge to the 2010 law are expected to ask a lower court for a preliminary injunction that bars officers from enforcing a requirement that police check the immigration status of people they stop for other reasons.

Since the Obama administration failed in getting the requirement struck down on the argument that federal law trumps the state law, the groups will take a new tack: Attack the mandate on other grounds, such as the potential for racial profiling or unreasonably extended detentions for people whose immigration status is being verified.

But opponents face an uphill battle in pressing this strategy because the lower courts might want to wait until the requirement - which won't take effect until at least July 20 - is enforced to consider actual injuries from the law, rather than confront the potential for harm.

"My prognosis is that it will be difficult to prevail on a preliminary injunction at this time," said Kevin Johnson, law school dean at the University of California-Davis and an immigration law expert. "The Supreme Court suggested that it was going to allow this law to go into effect and then decide if any legal challenges held weight as applied to a particular case at hand."

The Supreme Court struck down three sections of Arizona's law Monday but upheld the immigration-status questioning requirement.

Without complaints of abuses in the enforcement of the requirement, opponents at this point would have to show that lawmakers intended to discriminate against Latinos when they passed the law.

But opponents could use a U.S. Department Justice report that alleged racial profiling in Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's trademark immigration patrols to make the argument that a police agency that already inquires about people's immigration status allegedly uses discriminatory methods to enforce the law, Johnson said.

The Justice Department filed a lawsuit last month accusing Arpaio's office of racially profiling Latinos in immigration patrols and launching some patrols based on citizen letters that complained about people with dark skin congregating in a given area or speaking Spanish but never reported an actual crime.

The sheriff has long denied the racial profiling allegations, saying people are stopped if deputies have probable cause to believe they have committed crimes and that deputies later find many of them are illegal immigrants.

The groups opposing the law haven't yet filed their new offensive in court, but believe the racial profiling allegations against Arpaio may prove useful.

"If you want to know whether (the questioning requirement) will cause racial profiling and illegal detentions, all you have to do is look at Sheriff Arpaio's record," said Cecillia Wang, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's immigrants' rights project.

The ACLU is one of many groups seeking to overturn the law and is pushing a separate lawsuit by a small group of Latinos who allege that Arpaio's officers had racially profiled them. That lawsuit is scheduled for trial on July 19 in federal court.

Arpaio's office said the Justice Department's allegation against his office of systematic discrimination against Latinos hasn't been proven.

As for the sheriff, he wasn't pleased by the possibility that opponents could use the Department of Justice's case against his office as fodder for trying to sink the Arizona law.

"Just let the courts decide whether there is racial profiling, not the experts or those that have their own agenda," Arpaio said.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Article comment by: Why bother to vote?

It doesn't matter what you believe or what side you are on, this government is doomed and always will be regardless of which party gets elected. Makes me glad to not be in my 20's. Good luck to today's youth.

Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Article comment by: Vote Republican

To: White Warlock: you won't have to worry about a future if O is re-elected. We will all be under China's reign!!!! Good luck!

Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Article comment by: John Rollo

You people are so full of hate and blood lust. You fail to see the truth when your eyes are covered in deceit from your coveted right wing christian propaganda machine. You'd think the illegals are behind every bush waiting to pounce on all god fearing white folk. Please the end of the world is not here. and there are bigger problems.

Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Article comment by: pablo noname

@Burro (AKA White Warlock AKA Honkey Brujo), why would anyone think that you would research anything when you can just vote for "Obama and a straight Democrat ticket?" The Big O is rolling, just like a train about to derail! WOW, that sure reminds me of the train scene in the movie Reds.

Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Article comment by: Boris Tudeth

Folks who fear and hate Mr. Obama conveniently ignore the fact that a "conservative" Supreme Court is ruling to protect rights - not take them away. Right wing conservatives would like to limit the rights of women, minorities and non - Christians. But the Constitution doesn't read that way check it out sometime.

Besides, after 9/11 the Republican House, Senate and president agreed to spend $1200 billion to "fight terrorists", yet never cut loose a mere $7 billion to secure the border and hire more federal employees to man the border. This all happened ling before Obama beat McCain in the 2008 election. Wake up and smell the hipocracy!

Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Article comment by: TAX PAYER


Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Article comment by: CONCERNED CITIZEN

Three major victories for OBAMA? Well, I wonder who he's really for: the American citizen or the illegals? Seems he only cares about where his votes will come from and NOT the safety of this country. Any terrorist can enter our country through the borders and does he care? NO Holder, immigration, and healthcare are all ruled by him and his administration. Make your vote count in November and get this "corrupt" administration OUT!!!!!!

Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Article comment by: Tom Lyle

to Tom. Lets let all the drug dealers,,bank robbers and such out of jails cause they were only trying to make a living,tie the police hands so they can't stop to ask them if they had a record. They only broke some of our laws and were trying to blend in. Lets keep the law breakers on the street and look the other way.

Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2012
Article comment by: white warlock

Thank you Tom I will be voting for Obama and a straight Democrat ticket in November. The Big O is rolling, a new Progressive future for this Country.

Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2012
Article comment by: You need credibility first, Tom

Tom: You favored SB1070, but the Supreme Court ruled the major parts of that law unconstitutional. And you were sure that ObamaCare was unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court declared it Constitutional. It seems your track record is pretty poor for someone popping off about a good American president that will enforce the Constitution.

Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2012
Article comment by: Tom Steele

The solution to all this is to remove Barack Husein Obama and Eric Holder from office by voting on November 6th. A good American president will enforce the U S Constitution and it's amendments.

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