Herrera praises 9th Circuit ruling blocking key provisions of Arizona immigration law

San Francisco had joined with other cities, counties last year in urging federal courts to halt Arizona’s draconian SB 1070 law

SAN FRANCISCO (April 11, 2011) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera praised today’s federal appeals court ruling blocking key provisions of Arizona’s controversial immigration law from being enforced. The 2-1 majority decision of a Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in San Francisco upheld last year’s federal district court ruling that the law interferes with federal government’s authority to enforce national immigration laws. The majority opinion was written by Judge Richard A. Paez and joined by Judge John T. Noonan. The lone dissenter was Judge Carlos T. Bea.

Last June, Herrera joined with other public sector law offices representing fourteen cities and counties from six states in a separate lawsuit to halt implementation of SB 1070 until its constitutionality was fully adjudicated. Jurisdictions joining in that amicus brief were: the Counties of Santa Clara, Los Angeles, and Monterey, Calif.; and the Cities of Baltimore, Md.; Berkeley, Calif.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Minneapolis, Minn.; New Haven, Conn.; Palo Alto, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; Saint Paul, Minn.; San Francisco and San Jose, Calif.; and Seattle, Wash.

“Arizona’s law is draconian and unconstitutional, and I’m relieved by today’s Ninth Circuit ruling,” Herrera said. “If Arizona’s law were ever enforced as written, it would victimize citizens and non-citizens alike, and hinder local law enforcement’s ability to truly protect public safety. I applaud Judges Paez and Noonan for addressing the legal issues thoroughly and for reaching a prudent, wise conclusion.”

The Obama Administration’s Justice Department had argued that the SB 1070 law was unconstitutional and could result in racial profiling and harassment of American citizens, legal immigrants, and foreign tourists. Provisions of the law that Arizona officials remain enjoined from enforcing include: requiring police to determine the immigration status of those they arrest; requiring police to detain those they reasonably suspect of being in the United States illegally, even if enforcing other laws; requiring foreign nationals to carry documentation of lawful immigration status at all times; and prohibiting undocumented workers from soliciting employment in public places.

Today’s ruling is in the case: United States of America v. State of Arizona et al., United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, No. 10-16645. The related case to which San Francisco previous entered as amici was Friendly House, et al., v. Michael B. Whiting, et al., in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, Case No. CV 10-1061-PHX-JWS.

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