On Wednesday afternoonjust hours before Arizona’s controversial new immigration law was to go into effecta Federal judge issued an injunction to block several of the most contentiously debated portions of the measure.
United States District Judge Susan Bolton’s ruling will prevent Arizona from requiring its law enforcement personnel to ask for identification from individuals who they "reasonably suspect" of being an illegal immigrant.
"By enforcing this statute, Arizona would impose a ‘distinct, unusual and extraordinary’ burden on legal resident aliens that only the Federal government has the authority to impose," Bolton wrote in her ruling.
"Preserving the status quo through a preliminary injunction is less harmful than allowing state laws that are likely preempted by Federal law to be enforced," she added.
Furthermore, Bolton sided with the Federal government by striking down a section of the law that would require immigrants to carry their registration papers at all times. She also blocked the provision that would have made it a crime for an illegal immigrant to apply for or perform work in the state.
Several sections of the law still went into effect on Thursday, including one making it illegal to pick up and transport day laborers.
In response to the ruling, Governor Jan Brewer said the "fight is far from over" and that Arizona is willing to take the case "all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary."