Judge Hears Arguments On Ariz. Immigration Law
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NPR's Ted Robbins was inside the courthouse in Phoenix for the hearings and outside for the protests, which led to seven arrests.
TED ROBBINS: The number of protesters outside the courthouse grew throughout the day to a couple of hundred people, most opposing the law.
(SOUNDBITE OF PROTESTERS)
ROBBINS: So, asked Judge Bolton, isn't SB 1070 just what Congress was hoping for? Kneedler was not talking after the hearing, but Omar Jadwat was. He presented the ACLU's case earlier in the day.
OMAR JADWAT: The mandatory nature of this act does it make very different from other kinds of genuinely cooperative enforcement that states can, you know, might lawfully be able to engage in.
ROBBINS: Jadwat also argued that the law's provision, which makes it a state crime for an alien not to carry registration papers, runs afoul of federal law in court cases, saying states can't create their own registration requirements, and that the provision making it a crime to transport illegal immigrants, no matter the reason, is too broad.
JADWAT: Some of our clients who we represent, who work with victims of domestic violence, regularly transport these victims to shelters, are in immediate jeopardy if this law passes.
ROBBINS: She also asked about a section requiring police to detain someone until their immigration status is checked. For how long and where? Even the state of Arizona's lawyer, John Bouma, acknowledged that could be confusing.
JOHN BOUMA: I did say it could have been written more clearly. I think I said it might have been inartfully worded.
ROBBINS: SB 1070 is so far successful politically, with a majority of Arizonans supporting it, and Arizona Governor Jan Brewer getting a boost for her election bid from signing it. Brewer came to court, Thursday. She is, after all, named as defendant in the suits. Afterwards, she said she liked what her lawyers said in the state's defense.
JAN BREWER: I believe that it was a well- prepared presentation of where Arizona is going, and the direction of which we want to take our state in regards to the protection of the citizens of Arizona.
ROBBINS: Ted Robbins, NPR News, Tucson.
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