Arizona's immigration law: Is it dead?

A judge blocks controversial parts of Arizona's immigration crackdown a day before they were to take effect — but some commentators say the fight has just begun

A barbed wire fence marks the border of the United States and Mexico near Sasabe, Arizona.
(Image credit: Getty)

In what immigrant advocates call a major victory, a federal judge blocked the most controversial parts of Arizona's hardline immigration law hours before they were to take effect. Judge Susan Bolton ruled on Wednesday that certain "unconstitutional" provisions undermined federal authority, while other aspects of the legislation — including the requirement that Arizona police check the papers of those they suspect to be illegal immigrants — would have inadvertently "swept up" legal immigrants. Will Bolton's decision effectively kill the law, or is this just a speed bump? (Watch a CNN report about the Arizona ruling)

The worst parts of the law are history: This isn't an "unequivocal victory," says John Nichols at The Nation, since parts of the law are being implemented, and they'll be felt. But Judge Bolton did something the law's defenders neglected to do — namely, read the Constitution, which clearly states that the federal government, not Arizona, is in charge of immigration policy. The kind of racial profiling the state hoped to enact is "an affront" to this country's founding principles, and was doomed from the start.

"Key provisions of Arizona immigration law blocked by federal judge"

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Arizona's crackdown is still on: Judge Bolton's ruling won't keep Arizona authorities from driving out illegal immigrants, says Jeff Biggers at The Huffington Post. "Publicity hound" Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, has been making "costly sweeps" of his turf for months, leading to the "deportation or forced departure of over 26,000 immigrants," and Arpaio claims he's not about to stop. "The battle over Arizona's immigration crisis has hardly come to a screeching halt."

"Darkness at noon in Arizona: Delayed, but not over"

This ruling will backfire on illegal immigrants and Democrats: "The gleeful Left may want to put away the party hats," says Andy McCarthy at National Review. Judge Bolton's decision will be appealed, and the Supreme Court will have the final say. Meanwhile, this ruling will only fuel anger against President Obama and other Democrats who oppose Arizona's law. Americans are essentially being told "that if they want the immigration laws enforced," they'll have to elect a new president and a new Congress, and the majority who support Arizona will be happy to oblige.

"Arizona immigration decision"

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