Top Story — Arizona’s controversial immigration bill, SB1070, took a hit Wednesday, one day before it goes into effect, when a U.S. Federal judge issued a temporary injunction against provisions in the law that require police to check the immigration status of people suspected of being in the country illegally.
The move by Judge Susan Bolton also delayed a provision requiring immigrants to carry documents at all times and another which prevents illegal immigrants from soliciting work in public places.
The injunction has already sparked debate on both sides of the immigration debate and drawn comments from politicians and activists alike.
“This fight is far from over. In fact, it is just the beginning, and at the end of what is certain to be a long legal struggle, Arizona will prevail in its right to protect our citizens,” said Arizona Governo Brewer, according to AFP. Brewer is a strong supporter of the law.
Many immigration groups across the country praised Judge Bolton’s injunction, but warned that the debate about immigration reform is far from over.
“We applaud the U.S. District Court of Arizona’s issuance of a preliminary injunction against the most egregious provisions of Arizona’s contemptible law, SB1070, which essentially declares open season on undocumented immigrants, legal immigrants, and anyone who looks or sounds like an immigrant,” said Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition, in a statement to reporters. “We urge the president and members of Congress to step up to the plate and do what they need to do to prevent further Arizonas from happening.”
The law, which Governor Brewer signed in April, has been a hot button issue in recent months as the Obama administration openly criticized the law and threatened to file a lawsuit against it.
The move by Judge Bolton is seen by some as a risky move for immigration activists and their supporters in government, as many have already criticized the spending of tax payer money that the Obama administration has spent on combatting the bill.
“Instead of wasting tax payer resources filing a lawsuit against Arizona … the Obama Administration should have focused its efforts on working with Congress to provide the necessary resources to support the state in its efforts to act where the federal government has failed,” said Arizona senator’s John McCain and Jon Kyl, according to Reuters.
Whatever happens in the upcoming weeks, Judge Bolton’s ruling is sure to spark a good deal of commentary and debate over Arizona’s law.
“This will take the wind out of the sails of anti-immigration efforts on the state level, though it will probably intensify such efforts at the federal level,” said Peter Spiro, a law professor at Temple University, according to Reuters.
Other Top News: An emergency meeting of UNASUR, a union of South American nations, will take place today. The goal of the meeting is to ease escalating tensions between Colombia and Venezuela.
- Alison Bowen reports on “Which Way Home,” an Oscar-nominated film documenting the journeys of child immigrants to the United States.
- Mexican federal police announced Wednesday that they arrested a top lieutenant in the La Linea drug gang in the border state of Chihuahua.
- The Mexican states bordering Arizona said they are bracing for mass deportations due to Arizona’s immigration law, even after a US federal judge put an injunction on the law’s controversial parts.
- Haiti’s presidential elections are beginning to take shape.
- Ariel Sigler, a recently freed Cuban political prisoner, arrived in Miami on Wednesday, where he was received by a crowd of about 100 Cuban Americans.
- A giant statue of Christopher Columbus that has been rejected by several cities may have found a home in Puerto Rico.
- Guatemalan Indians will sue the country’s current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for his role in appropriating land for the Marlin gold mine in 2001, which has since been ordered closed by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights.
- Fourteen members of the Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas will be tried in Guatemala for their involvement in the massacre of eleven people in 2008.
- High-ranking Miami police officers are being sued by the city’s police union for destroying records that show they earned additional compensation as consultants in Panama.
- The incidence of acute respiratory disease in El Salvador has skyrocketed, according to health authorities.
- UNASUR will meet in Ecuador Thursday to discuss the diplomatic standoff between Venezuela and Colombia, with which Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez recently cut ties.
- A Peruvian congressman is planning to introduce a bill to the Peruvian legislature that could legalize civil unions in the country.
- Colombian president-elect Juan Manuel Santos named former Senator Rodrigo Rivera as his defense minister.
- The UNESCO World Heritage committee removed the Galapagos Islands from its list of endangered sites Wednesday thanks to preservation efforts by the Ecuadoran government.
- The seven-year dispute between Uruguay and Argentina over a paper mill on the Uruguay River ended Wednesday when both countries agreed to jointly monitor the environmental effects of the mill.
- A leader of the Paraguayan People’s Army was shot by police in the Chaco region bordering Bolivia on Wednesday.
- Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced Wednesday that the bodies of a French activist and his Mexican girlfriend, murdered during Argentina’s Dirty War, had been identified.
- Brazilian TV presenter Walter Souza, accused of orchestrating crimes to boost the ratings of his television show, died in the hospital Tuesday.
- Brazil’s Sports Minister defended the country’s preparedness for the 2014 World Cup in a conference Wednesday.
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