AZ’s Show Me Your Papers Law Upheld, Again

The On September 5, 2012, Arizona U.S. District Court Judge Susan R. Bolton, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in a related case, denied a motion for preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin subsection 2(B) – known as the “show me your papers” provision – of Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070 (SB 1070) in Valle del Sol v. Whiting, Case No. CV-10-1061 PHX-SRB.

Subsection 2(B) requires law enforcement officers to make a reasonable attempt to determine an individual’s immigration status during any lawful stop, detention or arrest where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is unlawfully present in the United States.  It also requires that all persons arrested have their immigration status verified prior to release.  The plaintiffs in Valle del Sol challenged this provision of SB1070 as unconstitutional arguing that it is preempted by federal law and violates the Fourth Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause.

The district court found that the plaintiffs in Valle del Sol “have not shown that they are likely to succeed on their facial challenges to Subsection 2(B) as a result of the Supreme Court’s opinion in the related case.”  (On June 25, 2012, in a related case, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld subsection 2(B).)  The federal court, citing to the U.S. Supreme Court decision, left open the question as to whether the “show me your papers” provision of subsection 2(B) could be unconstitutionally applied or enforced after it goes into effect, leaving the plaintiffs in Valle del Sol the ability to challenge subsection 2(B) after the law goes into effect.

The district court did enjoin a portion of Section 5 of SB1070, A.R.S. § 13-929, that criminalizes certain conduct in Arizona relating to the transportation, movement, or attempted transportation or movement of unlawfully present individuals in Arizona, along with other conduct related to harboring of unlawfully present individuals in Arizona and the encouragement or inducement of unlawfully present individuals to come to or live in Arizona.  The court agreed with the plaintiffs that this provision of SB 1070 is preempted by federal law.  

It is important for workers and union members to remember that this is an Arizona state law and is not the law in California.

By Monica Guizar

Legal Developments