Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has asked the Supreme Court to lift an injunction that halted the most controversial sections of her state’s new immigration law from taking effect.
Brewer seeks a ruling that could free Arizona and other states to invoke aggressive enforcement against illegal immigrants, according to a Los Angeles Times article. “Arizona bears the brunt of the problems caused by illegal immigration [and] is the gateway to nearly half of the nation’s illegal border crossings,” former Solicitor General Paul Clement said on behalf of Arizona.
U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton put on hold in July 2010 sections of the Arizona law that call for police to check an individual’s immigration status while enforcing other laws and that require immigrants to carry their legal papers all of the time (see Gavel Grab). In April, a panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Judge Bolton.
The Obama administration and immigrant rights advocates had challenged Arizona’s law on grounds the U.S. government alone has control over enforcing immigration law.
Lawyer Clement, however, said in seeking an appeal that a basic “police power” permits states to enforce the law within state boundaries. Other states that have adopted enforcement laws similar to Arizona’s are Georgia, Alabama and Utah.
In Alabama, meanwhile, the administration of Gov. Robert Bentley asked a federal judge to refer to the state Supreme Court a question of interpretation involved in a lawsuit challenging that state’s new immigration law, Bloomberg reported. The question revolves around interpretation of two provisions of the Alabama law in light of protection of religious freedom afforded by the state constitution.