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Cops Still Can't Enforce Arizona's SB 1070

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on April 12, 2011 10:05 AM

Five months after hearing arguments challenging Arizona's controversial S.B. 1070, the 9th Circuit has affirmed the lower court's injunction prohibiting the enforcement of four of the law's criminal provisions.

Despite this decision, portions of the bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer in mid-April, still raise constitutional questions.

The injunction prohibits enforcement of provisions that require officers to ask about immigration status and allow them to effect warrantless arrests of illegal aliens. It also prohibits convicting persons who are not carrying registration papers, as well as undocumented persons who apply for employment.

What's interesting about this decision and the Department of Justice's lawsuit is that it only considers the immigration law as a violation of both the Supremacy Clause and the Commerce Clause.

There was no discussion of racial profiling.

Knowing that racial profiling was a concern, Gov. Jan Brewer ordered a task force to create a training program that explained reasonable suspicion and provided officers with guidelines that do not involve race. However, actual training has been left to individual departments.

There are other provisions of S.B. 1070 that have gone into effect, and they're still raising objections on the grounds of racial profiling.

However, it appears that, unless a private party such as the ACLU, decides to get involved, the federal government will not be challenging this anytime soon.

Attorney General Eric Holder has only indicated that there is a possibility of a future inquiry into the law's racial profiling impact.

So, in the meantime, Gov. Jan Brewer will continue to challenge the federal government's immigration policy, and Arizona citizens will still have to watch their backs.

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