Parts Of Arizona Immigration SB 1070 Law Blocked; L.A. City Council Won't Remove Boycott Yet
Local labor leader Maria Elena Durazo declared victory in response to today's decision by a federal judge to stay the more controversial aspects of Arizona's SB 1070 immigration measure.
Durazo, head of the county labor federation, warned at an afternoon press conference, however, that the decision is not a complete victory.
Federal Judge Susan Bolton granted an injunction today of key provisions of the new Arizona law, including one that grants police the power to check the immigration status of those arrested or in custody, delivering a small victory to the law's opponents, according to the Associated Press.
The judge also 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, the AP reports.
The partial injunction will not stop other aspects of the law from going into effect tomorrow.
The U.S. Department of Justice had filed a lawsuit claiming the federal government has sole jurisdiction, and not the states, to enforce immigration law.
Arizona officials and their defenders around the country say the state is merely taking matters into its own hands because the federal government has failed to stop the flow of people crossing the border and committing crimes once they get here.
(Contrary to some common misconceptions, however, violent crimes and illegal border crossings are both down in Arizona during the past several years, and the Obama administration has increased both deportations and prosecutions of employers who hire undocumented workers.)
Regardless, seems as if the judge has put the most controversial aspects of the law on hold until issues at stake are settled by the courts. This could be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court when all is said and done.
In L.A., where the City Council has enacted an ordinance boycotting Arizona, the law continues to inspire protest. Councilman Ed Reyes and other members of the council said they had no immediate plans to lift the boycott.
Durazo, who is the Executive Secretary-Treaurer for the L.A. County Federation of Labor, called the judge's ruling a partial victory. "But we did win."
Durazo said that the country's immigration system still needs reform and that a planned protest in Arizona tomorrow would proceed as planned.
A coalition of 550 protesters from different unions, faith and community groups will head to Phoenix to protest the controversial law.
Others L.A. labor leaders blasted the controversial immigration law.
"We have to tell Arizona politicians that they are wrong," said Dan Barnhart of United Teachers Los Angeles. Barnhart said he was speaking on behalf of undocumented students who have been deported even though they came here with their parents.
"Laws like SB 1070 open the doors to racial profiling, said Joe Gonzalez of NALC Local 24, a union representing letter carriers. "These laws are a threat to our constitutional rights."
A group of young activists making signs for tomorrow's protest also expressed opposition, saying they fear a wave of anti-immigrant legislation and sentiment.
"I'm scared," said 21-year-old Gesselly Marroquin of Hollywood. "I fear that the similar laws will be passed in other states."
Marroquin is headed to Arizona for tomorrow's protest.
Via Twitter, here's Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, According to the Supremacy Clause of our constitution, immigration is a federal issue. Today's decision is the right one ... The court decision to enjoin the worst parts of AZ's SB 1070 reaffirms Americans' most basic constitutional rights.
J. Patrick Coolican contributed to this report.