Staying true to their promise, immigration groups are asking a federal judge to block Arizona’s “show me your papers provision” from going into effect.
The provision -which the Supreme Court upheld last month-could go into effect as early as this week.
Last month, the Supreme Court said that section 2(B) of the law — which requires a police officer to ask someone he stops for their papers if the officer has a reasonable suspicion the person is in the country illegally– could go into effect, but left open the possibility that other challenges to the law could be brought down the road.
The federal government had brought the challenge arguing that the state law interfered with existing federal law.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, “There is a basic uncertainty about what the law means and how it will be enforced. At this stage, without the benefit of a definitive interpretation from the state courts, it would be inappropriate to assume [the section of the law] will be construed in a way that creates a conflict with federal law.”
Kennedy said “This opinion does not foreclose other preemption and constitutional challenges to the law as interpreted and applied after it goes into effect.”
But immigration groups, who were not a part of the case in front of the Supreme Court, do not want to wait until 2 (b) actually goes into effect. They have filed a lawsuit arguing that 2(b) should be blocked for reasons that were not in front of the Supreme Court: racial profiling.
One of the groups, the National Immigration Law Center released a statement today saying section 2(B) “unlawfully discriminates against Latinos and individuals of Mexican origin.” They say they have evidence that legislators who supported the law used discriminatory language and intended the provision to impose statewide racial profiling tactics.
Update: Gov. Jan Brewer responded to the lawsuit in a statement this afternoon from Matthew Benson, her communications director:
“This latest legal challenge is unsurprising, as opponents of SB 1070 have indicated they’ll go to any length in order to block Arizona’s implementation of this law. The Supreme Court has already spoken unanimously on the constitutionality of this provision. Governor Brewer is hopeful Arizona law enforcement will soon at long last be empowered to enforce SB 1070, showing that it can be done fairly, lawfully and in harmony with civil rights and the Constitution. Ultimately, that’s the only way that residents of this State will be able to put to rest the fear-mongering and outrageous allegations made by opponents of SB 1070..”
Also note, the Governor’s office says the earliest Section 2 (b) will go into effect is July 20th—they are awaiting guidance from the courts.