The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit recently ruled that a U.S. District Court did not abuse its authority when it blocked key provisions of Arizona’s SB 1070, including one that required local law enforcement officials to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws.
“Arizona cannot begin enforcing key parts of last year’s immigration law.
In a split decision this morning, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded there was sufficient evidence to believe that provisions of SB 1070 are an unconstitutional infringement on the exclusive power of the federal government to regulate immigration. Judge Richard Paez, writing for the majority, also said such a conclusion is supported by ‘the threat of 50 states layering their own immigration enforcement rules on top of the Immigration and Naturalization Act.’
The court specifically rejected the state’s argument that it could make it a state crime for an undocumented worker to seek employment in Arizona. The judges noted that Congress, in approving federal regulations, chose not to make looking for work a criminal act.”
LIRS believes that the U.S. immigration system is in need of serious reform on a federal level. Punitive state immigration laws have harmful consequences for our communities and congregations. LIRS urges state legislators to continue to pressure Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform rather than create a patchwork of state laws, which sows distrust in our communities.
Take action in support of comprehensive immigration reform and against punitive state laws here.
Read more about LIRS’s concern about the harmful impacts of proposed state legislation here.