Phoenix, AZ – Federal District Judge Susan Bolton issued a 36-page decision blocking enforcement of key provisions to the controversial Arizona immigration law. Judge Bolton wrote: “Applying the proper legal standards based upon well-established precedent, the Court finds that the United States is likely to succeed on the merits in showing that the following Sections of S.B. 1070 are preempted by federal law: Portion of Section 2 of S.B. 1070 A.R.S. § 11-1051(B): requiring that an officer make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person is unlawfully present in the United States, and requiring verification of the immigration status of any person arrested prior to releasing that person Section 3 of S.B. 1070 A.R.S. § 13-1509: creating a crime for the failure to apply for or carry alien registration papers Portion of Section 5 of S.B. 1070 A.R.S. § 13-2928(C): creating a crime for an unauthorized alien to solicit, apply for, or perform work Section 6 of S.B. 1070 A.R.S. § 13-3883(A)(5): authorizing the warrantless arrest of a person where there is probable cause to believe the person has committed a public offense that makes the person removable from the United States.”
Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution expressly states that Congress has the authority to “establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization.” The Constitution therefore establishes that the matter of immigration is to be the sole prerogative of the federal government so that state laws are pre-empted.
Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “I sympathize with Arizona. The Arizona law is a cry for help because the federal government has not done its job of securing the borders. Arizona can protect its citizens by enforcing state civil and criminal laws. However, Arizona cannot enter the immigration regulation business. I agree with the judge’s ruling because immigration is a federal, not a state issue. The rule of law expressly set forth in the U.S. Constitution regarding immigration compels me to conclude that the Arizona law is unconstitutional. If a state concluded that the federal government was doing an inadequate job of stabilizing the Iraqi government against insurgents, then that would not give that state the right to declare war against Al Qaeda. If a state concluded that the U.S. trade laws are bad, that does not give the state a right to develop its own trade policy with foreign countries. Neither may a state develop its own immigration law as Arizona sought to do. The remedy when the federal government fails in its duty to stop illegal immigration is to either change the Constitution to allow the states to do the job or change the federal elected officials and replace them with those who will do the job.”