Eight Times U.S. Judges Squashed Arizona's Attempts to Clamp Down on Immigration

Protesters at a rally in March calling on Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to veto a slew of immigration-related bills.
Protesters at a rally in March calling on Arizona Governor Doug Ducey to veto a slew of immigration-related bills.
Elizabeth Stuart

When the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a permanent injunction last week blocking former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's executive order denying driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants with work permits, it felt a little bit like deja vu. 

As Congress continues to stall on comprehensive reform, more and more states are grappling for control over immigration, clogging up the courts with questions about who has power to regulate what. Arizona's not the only state on the docket — or, perhaps, even the most frequent — says Annie Lai, a law professor at the University of California-Irvine, but the state's had its fair share of battles over the topic. 

Here are eight times U.S. courts rebuffed Arizona's attempts to crack down on illegal immigration:

Russell Pearce, recalled former president of the Arizona Senate, was one of the most prominent supporters of Proposition 200.
Russell Pearce, recalled former president of the Arizona Senate, was one of the most prominent supporters of Proposition 200.

8. The state, through the Arizona Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, or Proposition 200, in 2004 tried to require people to provide "satisfactory evidence" of U.S. citizenship to vote. But in 2013, the Supreme Court determined doing so wasn't allowed under the National Voter Registration Act.

Sign near the U.S./Mexico border warning motorists to watch out for fleeing immigrants.
Sign near the U.S./Mexico border warning motorists to watch out for fleeing immigrants.
James Steidl / Shutterstock

7. U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton in 2014 struck down Arizona's 2005 attempt to make smuggling people across the border a state crime, determining that it infringed upon the U.S. government's power to enforce immigration law. 

Immigrants were denied bond.
Immigrants were denied bond.
Shutterstock

6. In 2006, Arizona voters approved a law, known as Proposition 100, that denied bond to undocumented immigrants charged with "serious crimes." In 2014, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled it unconstitutional

Demonstrators in Phoenix scaled a downtown crane to protest SB 1070 in July 2010.
Demonstrators in Phoenix scaled a downtown crane to protest SB 1070 in July 2010.
Puente Arizona / Creative Commons

5. In June 2012, the Supreme Court nixed Arizona's 2010 attempt, as part of Senate Bill 1070, to make it a state crime to be in Arizona without valid immigration papers. 



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