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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More