By David Schwartz
PHOENIX, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Arizona Governor Jan Brewer plans to fight a federal judge's ruling against a part of Arizona's tough immigration law that would have made it a crime to harbor undocumented immigrants, court papers showed on Thursday.
Lawyers for the Republican governor said the state planned to lodge an appeal with the 9th U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco to remove a block placed on the measure by a lower court judge on Sept. 5. A formal appeal has not yet been filed.
The measure, which makes it illegal to transport, shield or harbor an undocumented immigration within Arizona's borders, was barred by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton as part of a ruling allowing another key part of the law to go into effect.
Under the controversial "show-your-papers" provision of the law, which has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, police statewide are now required to check the status of people they stop and suspect are in the country illegally.
Arizona's immigration law is part of an attempt to crack down on the flow of undocumented immigrants streaming into the border state where an estimated 360,000 undocumented people live. Brewer signed the bill into law in April 2010, saying the federal government had failed to secure the state's border with Mexico.
Critics of the law said it could lead to racial profiling.
Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson said the governor, who has clashed repeatedly with the White House over undocumented immigration, maintained that the state should be able to arrest those found to be violating the harboring provision.
"The transport and harboring of illegal aliens leaves a path of crime and violence across our state, from the human smuggling operations to the drop houses where torture and blackmail are commonplace," Benson said in a statement.
"Combating these problems, in cooperation with federal law, is well within the police powers of a state taking action to preserve the safety and well-being of its citizens."
An attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, one of the groups contesting the law, believes that the appeals court will reject the governor's appeal.
"It simply is not the state's business to criminalize everyday interactions with Arizona residents based on their immigration status," said Omar Jadwat, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project. "Every court to consider this issue has gone our way."
The high-profile Arizona law was challenged by the Obama administration two years ago, saying that the U.S. Constitution gives the federal government sole authority over immigration policy.
The legal challenge made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in June upheld the "show-your-papers" provision but struck down three others as unconstitutional.
(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Peter Cooney)
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The Template: California Proposition 187 (1994)
California's Proposition 187 was submitted to the voters with the full support of then Republican governor Pete Wilson. It essentially blamed undocumented immigrants for the poor performance of the state economy in the early 1990s. The law called for cutting off benefits to undocumented immigrants: prohibiting their access to health care, public education, and other social services in California. It also required state authorities to report anyone who they suspected was undocumented. <strong>Status:</strong> The law passed with the support of 55 percent of the voters in 1994 but declared unconstitutional 1997. The law was killed in 1999 when a new governor, Democrat Gray Davis, refused to appeal a judicial decision that struck down most of the law. Even though short-lived, the legislation paved the way for harsher immigration laws to come. On the other hand, the strong reaction from the Hispanic community and immigration advocates propelled a drive for naturalization of legal residents and created as many as one million new voters.
The Worst: Arizona SB 1070
The Arizona Act made it a misdemeanor for an undocumented immigrant to be within the state lines of Arizona without legal documents allowing their presence in the U.S. This law has been widely criticized as xenophobic and for encouraging racial profiling. It requires state authorities to inquire about an individual's immigration status during an arrest when there is "reasonable suspicion" that the individual is undocumented. The law would allow police to detain anyone who they believe was in the country illegally. <strong>Status:</strong> The law was signed into law by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on April 23, 2010. But it has generated a swirl of controversy and questions about its constitutionality. A federal judge issued a ruling that blocked what critics saw as some of the law's harshest provisions. House: 35-31 (4/12/2011)
Following Arizona's Footsteps: Georgia HB 87
The controversy over Arizona's immigration law was followed by heated debate over Georgia's own law. HB 87 required government agencies and private companies to check the immigration status of applicants. This law also limited some government benefits to people who could prove their legal status. <strong>Status:</strong> Although a federal judge temporarily blocked parts of the law considered too extreme, it went into effect on July 1st. 2011. House: 113-56 Senate: 39-17
Verifying Authorized Workers: Pennsylvania HB 1502
This bill, which was approved in 2010, bans contractors and subcontractors employ undocumented workers from having state construction contracts. The bill also protects employees who report construction sites that hire illegal workers. To ensure that contractors hire legal workers, the law requires employers to use the identification verification system E-verify, based on a compilation of legally issued Social Security numbers. <strong>Status:</strong> Approved on June 8th 2010. House: 188-6 (07/08/2010) <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/" target="_hplink">Flickr photo by DonkeyHotey</a>
A Spin Off of Arizona: Utah HB 497
Many states tried to emulate Arizona's SB 1070 law. However, most state legislatures voted against the proposals. Utah's legislature managed to approve an immigration law based on a different argument. Taking into consideration the criticism of racial profiling in Arizona, Utah required ID cards for "guest workers" and their families. In order to get such a card workers must pay a fee and have clean records. The fees go up to $2,500 for immigrants who entered the country illegally and $1,000 for immigrants who entered the country legally but were not complying with federal immigration law, <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/06/nation/la-na-illegal-immigration-20110306" target="_hplink">according to the LA Times.</a> <strong>Status: </strong> Law went into effect on 03/15/2011 House: 59-15 (03/04/2011) Senate: 22-5 (03/04/2011)
The Most Comprehensive: Florida HB-1C
Florida's immigration law prohibits any restrictions on the enforcement of federal immigration law. It makes it unlawful for undocumented immigrants within the state to apply for work or work as an independent contractor. It forbids employers from hiring immigrants if they are aware of their illegal status and requires work applicants to go through the E-verify system in order to check their Social Security number. <strong>Status: </strong>effective since October 1st, 2010
The Hot Seat: Alabama HB 56
The new immigration law in Alabama is considered the toughest in the land, even harder than Arizona's SB 1070. It prohibits law enforcement officers from releasing an arrested person before his or her immigration status is determined. It does not allow undocumented immigrants to receive any state benefit, and prohibits them from enrolling in public colleges, applying for work or soliciting work in a public space. The law also prohibits landlords from renting property to undocumented immigrants, and employers from hiring them. It requires residents to prove they are citizens before they become eligible to vote. The law asked every school in the state to submit an annual report with the number of presumed undocumented students, but this part, along with others, were suspended by federal courts. <strong>Status:</strong> Approved June 2nd, 2011 House: 73-28 (04/05/2011) Senate: 23-11 (05/05/2011) <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/longislandwins/" target="_hplink">Flickr photo by longislandwins</a>