PHOENIX (CN) – The human-smuggling section of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, S.B. 1070, is pre-empted by the federal government’s right to control immigration, a federal judge ruled Friday.
U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton struck down the human smuggling provision of S.B. 1070, which made it a state crime “for a person to intentionally engage in the smuggling of human beings for profit or commercial purpose.”
S.B. 1070, signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer in 2010, also required state and local police officers to check a person’s immigration status, required immigrants to carry identification documents with them, and made it illegal for undocumented workers to solicit employment in public.
The anti-smuggling law was enacted in 2005 under then-Gov. Janet Napolitano, but was updated in 2010 and incorporated into S.B. 1070.
The Obama administration challenged the provision as part of a broader argument against the law.
Bolton previously enjoined most of S.B. 1070, though the U.S. Supreme Court left in place three sections of the law, including the legally challenged “papers please” provision, finding that the court could not yet determine if state officers asking for immigration papers was unconstitutional.
The federal government argued that “Arizona’s smuggling prohibition … conflicts with and otherwise stands as an obstacle to the full purposes and objectives of Congress in creating a comprehensive system of penalties for aliens who are unlawfully present in the United States.”
Bolton agreed, finding that federal law already addresses the concerns of the state law.
“The statute ‘attempts to regulate conduct – the transportation … of unauthorized aliens – that the federal scheme’ under 8 U.S.C. § 1324 also addresses,” Bolton wrote.
Bolton found that Arizona’s claim that the federal government failed to address the 2005 law and questioned only the section of S.B. 1070 that dealt with human smuggling, was inadequate.
“In evaluating the United States’ allegation that the smuggling definition under A.R.S. § 13-2319 was an impermissible regulation of immigration on field and conflict preemption grounds, ‘the Court conclude[d] that the United States ha[d] stated a claim that the entirety of A.R.S. § 13-2319 … is preempted,'” Bolton ruled.
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