Judge Hears Arguments Over Ariz. Immigration Law Michele Norris talks to NPR's Ted Robbins about Thursday's arguments in the Justice Department's suit to block Arizona's controversial immigration law.
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Judge Hears Arguments Over Ariz. Immigration Law

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Judge Hears Arguments Over Ariz. Immigration Law

Judge Hears Arguments Over Ariz. Immigration Law

Judge Hears Arguments Over Ariz. Immigration Law

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Michele Norris talks to NPR's Ted Robbins about Thursday's arguments in the Justice Department's suit to block Arizona's controversial immigration law.

ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

NPR's Ted Robbins is at the courthouse in Phoenix. He joins us now. Ted, these are two, separate challenges being heard today. The main attraction was the case brought by the Justice Department. Those arguments wrapped up just a little bit ago. Can you tell us what the judge heard?

TED ROBBINS: There were other parts of preemption which were a little more - she really asked a lot of questions. For instance, the mandatory nature - it requires police to ask folks for their registration papers - and that seems to be a little more contentious.

NORRIS: The other challenge the judge heard today was from the American Civil Liberties Union, other civil rights groups. Similar arguments made in that case?

ROBBINS: And as she pointed out, the only entity that can remove a person from the United States is an immigration judge, not a police officer, not even ICE, the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement. So she seems - she really, really did not think that that was - and, in fact, the state's attorney representing Arizona admitted that a couple of clauses in this law were, as he put it, not artfully written.

NORRIS: There's a lot of support for this law throughout the state of Arizona, but there are also a number of other lawsuits seeking to block SB 1070. Where do these other lawsuits stand, and when are we likely to get a ruling?

ROBBINS: Those are the only ones she's heard so far. So in order to - obviously, she has to issue an injunction before next Thursday. She said she would take it under advisement. And we've already heard from both sides that regardless of how she rules, the losing side is going to take it to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

NORRIS: We only have a few seconds left. Just quickly, what was the scene like at the courthouse today?

ROBBINS: Well, protesters built throughout the day outside the courtroom, despite the heat in Phoenix in the summer - to the point where they blocked an intersection right after the Department of Justice hearing. And the police surrounded them. They dispersed. And there were fewer, but some supporters of SB 1070. So it was a large crowd, several hundred people, I'd say.

NORRIS: Ted Robbins, thank you very much.

ROBBINS: Glad to be with you.

NORRIS: That's NPR's Ted Robbins, at the federal courthouse in Phoenix.

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