Thursday, July 29, 2010

Arizona Immigration Law On Hold – City Law Squelched

Laws that were to take effect at the end of this month now stymied by federal litigation

States' rights activist lawmakers beat a hasty retreat this week in the face of federal litigation challenging anti-illegal immigration laws that turn enforcement over to local police.

A federal District Judge in Arizona sided with the Obama Administration, enjoining Arizona police from questioning and detaining people suspected of being in the U.S. Illegally. The President had directed the Justice Department to intervene, questioning the constitutionality of taking the initiative out of the hands of the federal government and placing under the authority of state authorities to arrest illegal immigrants for working without proper visas.

Nothing in the existing federal law prohibits state law enforcement officials from enforcing existing immigration statutes and turning illegals over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers for deportation, according to the ruling by Judge Sue Bolton.

City officials in Fremont, Nebraska, chose to delay enforcing a new city ordinance that makes it illegal to rent housing to any person who cannot prove the legality of their immigration status and making it illegal for employers to hire any person who has not furnished adequate documentation of either their citizenship, or their lawful status as a foreign national working in this country.

Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund branch of the Industrial Areas Foundation, a creation of Chicago activist attorney Saul Alinsky, had filed suit in federal court to enjoin city law enforcement from making arrests and preventing employers and landlords from doing business with immigrants who work for meat packing houses in the area.

A federal judge struck down similar city ordinance in Farmers Branch, Texas, last month.

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