Judge Blocks Parts of Arizona Immigration Law - NBC Southern California

Judge Blocks Parts of Arizona Immigration Law

Caravan of LA protestors expected to arrive Thursday in Phoenix

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    Judge Blocks Parts of Arizona Immigration Law

    Several hundred people boarded about a dozen charter  buses Thursday morning at Dodger Stadium, to ride to Phoenix and join protests against Arizona's new immigration law.

    The protesters included members of unions and religious groups. Even though key portions of the Arizona law were blocked by a federal judge, protestors believe the ruling will  be challenged in an appeal and they want to show their willingness to continue the fight against the law.

    The overall law will still take effect Thursday, but without the provisions that angered opponents, including sections that required officers to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.

    In LA, dozens of immigrant-rights protesters rallied Thursday in front of the Los Angeles offices of an international security consulting firm, saying they would protest until Arizona's law was overturned.

    Arpaio to California: Thank You, Bring More

    [LA] Arpaio to California: Thank You, Bring More
    Maricopa County's sheriff is delighted to see so many Californians visiting his state this week.
    (Published Wednesday, July 28, 2010)

    Police were at the scene and closed down the intersection of Wilshire and Highland Avenue. One of the protest organizers said they would do what it takes to get out their message.

    "There were a total of 10 arrests," said LAPD Officer Rosario Herrera. "The various offenses are unknown at this time, but there were 10 arrests."

    LAist has posted photos from the scene.

    Californians have been paying close attention to the law since it was first passed. Back in May, the Los Angeles City Council approved an economic boycott of Arizona in response to the passage of Arizona Senate Bill 1070.

    Despite Wednesday's federal court ruling, members of the Council said they had no immediate plans to lift the city's economic boycott of the state, City News Service reported.

    "I think it's premature to get a knee-jerk reaction now," said Councilman Ed Reyes, one of the authors of the motion that led to the city's boycott.

    Los Angeles Activists Get the Word Out

    [LA] Los Angeles Activists Get the Word Out
    They picked the right place for a captive audience. Activists opposed to Arizona's immigration law are using banners on freeway overpasses in downtown LA.
    (Published Monday, July 26, 2010)

    "I think we still need to keep the pressure so that we are consistent with our concerns and our actions, but I will be testing and asking my colleagues how they feel and see where we take this," he said.

    Hundreds of LA union members and activists boarded a bus caravan Wednesday morning to travel to Phoenix, the Los Angeles Times reported.

    "People that come here deserve rights. They deserve equality. They don't deserve to be harassed," protester David Feldman told reporters.

    Cardinal Roger Mahony also said he supported the decision.

    "I am grateful that U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton ruled today that the most egregious sections of the Arizona Senate Bill 1070 were not allowable under federal law and ordered those halted," Mahony said in a statement posted on his blog. "Without needed congressional action, local communities and states will continue to propose stopgap measures which do not address all aspects of needed immigration reform."

    The 11-bus caravan is sponsored by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. Protestors were expected to arrive Thursday in Phoenix.

    "As Californians and Angelenos, we want to see how we can help not only defeat this specific law but also to help the Latino community be more active in the political process," Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the labor federation, told the Times. "Hopefully it will motivate some to go out and register to vote."

    Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, one of the agents with the authority to enforce the law, scoffed at the SoCal protestors.

    "We have people from California coming here, which makes me very happy," Arpaio told NBCLA. "They're not boycotting us. Isn't that nice?

    "My message to all the people coming here from California -- spend some money, build up the economy, and thank you for not boycotting us. Come on, bring more here. Everybody's concerned about Arizona. They ought to worry about their own sanctuary state."

    Arpaio also told the Associated Press he's willing to arrest protesters if they want to block his jail once the law takes effect.

    At least 32 demonstrators were arrested Thursday, MSNBC reported.

    Dozens of others were arrested throughout the day, trying to cross a police line, entering closed-off areas or sitting in the street and refusing to leave. Former state Sen. Alfredo Gutierrez, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2002, was among them.

    Also in Wednesday's ruling, the judge put on hold parts of the law that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times, and made it illegal for undocumented workers to solicit employment in public places. In addition, the judge blocked officers from making warrantless arrests of suspected illegal immigrants.

    "Requiring Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies to determine the immigration status of every person who is arrested burdens lawfully-present aliens because their liberty will be restricted while their status is checked," U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled.

    She ruled that the controversial sections should be put on hold until the courts resolve the issues. Other provisions of the law, many of them procedural and slight revisions to existing Arizona immigration statute.

    Lawyers for the state contend the law was a constitutionally sound attempt by Arizona -- the busiest illegal gateway into the country -- to assist federal immigration agents and lessen border woes such as the heavy costs for educating, jailing and providing health care for illegal immigrants.

    Opponents argued the law will lead to racial profiling, conflict with federal immigration law and distract local police from fighting more serious crimes. The U.S. Justice Department, civil rights groups and a Phoenix police officer had asked the judge for an injunction to prevent the law from being enforced.

    "There is a substantial likelihood that officers will wrongfully arrest legal resident aliens under the new (law)," Bolton ruled. "By enforcing this statute, Arizona would impose a 'distinct, unusual and extraordinary' burden on legal resident aliens that only the federal government has the authority to impose."

    The law was signed by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer in April and immediately revived the national debate on immigration, making it a hot-button issue in the midterm elections.

    The law has inspired rallies in Arizona and elsewhere by advocates on both sides of the immigration debate. Some opponents have advocated a tourism boycott of Arizona.

    It also led an unknown number of illegal immigrants to leave Arizona for other American states or their home countries.

    Federal authorities who are trying to overturn the law have argued that letting the Arizona law stand would create a patchwork of immigration laws nationwide that would needlessly complicate the foreign relations of the United States. Federal lawyers said the law is disrupting U.S. relations with Mexico and other countries and would burden the agency that responds to immigration-status inquiries.

    Brewer's lawyers said Arizona shouldn't have to suffer from America's broken immigration system when it has 15,000 police officers who can arrest illegal immigrants.