Opponents to Arizona’s anti-immigrant law SB 1070 have asked U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton to block enforcement of the law’s infamous section 2(B). A coalition of civil rights, religious, and business groups fear that the Supreme Court’s June decision to uphold the “papers please” provision of the law will lead to racial profiling and discrimination against Hispanics in Arizona. According to this provision, police must check the immigration status of people stopped for violations other than immigration.Immigrants rights groups also fear that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s special patrols, known as immigration sweeps, illustrate the way in which section 2(B) will disproportionately target the Latino community.
Lawyers for Governor Jan Brewer have responded that these claims are mere speculation, and argued in a filing Friday that the contended provision should be allowed to take effect. They state that the law explicitly prohibits discriminatory policing, and that the state’s police training and licensing board utilize enforcement standards to avoid profiling.
According to legal experts, barring enforcement of the requirement could prove difficult due to lower courts’ desire to wait until enforcement to assess actual damages that result from the law. If Judge Bolton agrees with Governor Brewer’s lawyers, the police could begin to enforce to provision, although it remains unclear when enforcement would begin.