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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

Border Security

Lee Ross

Supreme Court

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New Challenge to Arizona Immigration Law

June 5, 2010 - 3:10 PM | by: Lee Ross

The timetable for federal court action on Arizona’s controversial new immigration law picked up considerably Friday as opponents of the measure are now asking a federal judge to issue an injunction stopping the law from taking effect as scheduled.

Arizona officials are supposed to begin enforcing the law July 29 but the new court filing argues the law’s start date should be delayed until the underlying legal challenge attacking the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act” is resolved.

The injunction request comes from the ACLU and a handful of civil rights groups who are also challenging the law. Their filing means a federal judge will be required to make a legal assessment on the controversial law this summer.

In their 44 page filing, the plaintiffs call the law an “unprecedented attempt by a single state to regulate immigration” and “a brazen and improper usurpation of the federal government’s constitutional role in immigration regulation.” Of greater importance to their injunction request, the groups argue the law, if it takes effect on July 29, will cause irreparable harm and will immediately cause their members to change their lives “out of fear that they will be subject to unlawful questioning, arrest, or detention.”

The judge will have to determine the veracity of these claims and conclude that the law will cause immediate and irrevocable harm. An injunction order, rare but not unprecedented, would also likely include analysis that the plaintiffs are likely to prevail on their underlying lawsuit.

There was no immediate response from Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s office to the new legal action.

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