Not So Fast, MALDEF Warns Arizona

     PHOENIX (CN) – Civil rights groups warned Gov. Jan Brewer that the “papers please” provision of Arizona’s immigration law, SB 1070, remains enjoined “unless and until the District Court of the Ninth Circuit dissolves the injunction currently in place.”
     In a letter on MALDEF letterhead, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund told Bewer that the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on SB 1070 “did not lift the injunction,” but remanded it “for further proceedings.”
     The Supreme Court, in throwing out several sections of Arizona’s immigration law, as treading upon federal powers, refused to kill the “papers please” provision, finding that it (the court) could not determine if state officers asking for immigration papers was unconstitutional. It depended upon what happened next, the court said, in essence.
     Arizona’s “papers please” provision requires police officers with “reasonable suspicion” to check the immigration status of anyone they stop or arrest.
     “The Supreme Court’s decision in Arizona v. United States did not lift the injunction as to Section 2(B),” MALDEF attorney wrote in the June 27 letter. “Instead, it stated that the court would remand the case for further proceedings. And as the Supreme Court stated in a June 25, 2012 letter to the Ninth Circuit that defendants have also received, ‘The judgment or mandate of this Court will not issue for at least twenty-five days pursuant to Rule 45.’ Attached as Ex. 1. After the Supreme Court mandate is issued, the proceedings on remand can follow, and only if the Section 2(B) injunction is actually lifted can the provision lawfully be implemented.
     “We are aware that some defendants have stated that Section 2(B) is now in effect. We ask you to correct your clients regarding this fact and correct any public statements indicating that Section 2(B) is currently operative. Please notify plaintiffs’
     Counsel immediately if you disagree with plaintiff’s position and if you intend to implement Section 2(B) before the federal courts rule that the injunction is dissolved.”
     MALDEF was joined by the ACLU, the ACLU of Arizona, the National Immigration Law Center, the National Day Labor Organizing Network, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, and the Asian American Justice Center.

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