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Immigration Law

Arizona Smuggling Statute Preempted By Federal Law

"A federal judge has voided one of the last remaining sections of the controversial package of anti-immigration laws approved by Arizona lawmakers in 2010.  The provision struck down Friday by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton made it a state crime to “engage in the smuggling of human beings for profit or commercial purposes.”  Bolton said prosecuting people for smuggling remains the exclusive right of the federal government.  There was no immediate response from Gov. Jan Brewer, who had hired outside counsel to defend the law she signed.  The ruling pretty much resolves all the legal challenges by the Obama administration to the controversial SB 1070, a wide-ranging measure aimed at giving the state more power to deal with illegal immigration.  Unless this decision is overturned on appeal, it leaves only one portion of the law intact among portions that have been legally challenged: requiring police who stop people for another reason to question them about their immigration status if there is reason to believe they are in this country illegally.  In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court said there was nothing inherently illegal about that portion.  But the justices warned the law could still be struck down if it is illegally applied.  Some civil rights groups are attempting to prove just that in a separate lawsuit." - CMS, Nov. 8, 2014.