Immigration

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

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: 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.

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. 
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



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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Elizabeth Stuart
Contact: Elizabeth Stuart