News / USA

Arizonans React to Court Ruling as Limited Immigration Law Takes Effect

Multimedia

Residents of the Western U.S. state of Arizona reacted Thursday to a federal judge's ruling  that blocked key parts of a controversial state immigration law. 

Judge Bolton temporarily blocked some of the broad powers that the law would have given local police in immigration enforcement, which under the US constitution is a federal responsibility.  The blocked measures would have allowed police to demand proof of legal residence from those stopped or arrested, when there was reasonable suspicion that they are in the country illegally.  

Arizona governor Jan Brewer has appealed the ruling, saying the U.S. government has not been doing its job.

The law's opponents celebrated in Phoenix and in the border town of Nogales.

At Nogales police headquarters, Captain Heriberto Zuniga sorted out the parts of the law that are blocked and those that remain in effect.   He says that not a lot will change because his department has always cooperated with the Border Patrol in reporting those who have apparently crossed the border illegally.

"We will literally have a Border Patrol vehicle at our traffic stop or at our location where we came in contact with these individuals within three to eight minutes," he said.

This border town is ground zero for illegal immigration, and Nogales senior officer Mario Morales says the hills are filled with human smugglers and drug traffickers.   He points to a road at the end of town. "This roadway leads right into the mountains south of here," he states. "Everything south of here leads into Mexico."



He says the road and surrounding canyons are used by those with smuggling contraband or people.

Without evidence of a crime, he has limited ability to hold anyone he suspects of entering the country illegally.

"They say, I'm walking away, and it's happened to me, they walk away," Moralas recalls, "I cannot legally detain them.  Now, if they've violated any kind of Arizona law, any kind of Arizona statute, committed any crime, then by law I can detain them."

Opponents of the disputed Arizona law say that immigration enforcement should rest with federal officials.  Others says stronger measures are needed to stop illegal migrants.

Legal analyst Erwin Chemerinsky of the University of California, Irvine, law school says the Arizona case is far from finished. "No matter what the federal court of appeals argues," he says, "whoever loses there is going to seek United States Supreme Court review."

In Nogales, Mexican immigrant Arturo Cuauatcomc says it is time for Arizonans to leave the divisive law behind and come together.  "Together we could make Arizona the best state.  Together, no separation.  So just think about that," he states.

In Washington, congressional Democrats, including Representative Nydia Velazquez (Democrat, New York), urged other states to leave immigration to federal officials.

But others complain that Washington has left local officials to sort out the problem.

The courts will decide the fate of the Arizona statute, including its blocked provisions, and here along the border, police say they will do what they can under existing law to help the federal government do its job.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid