Appeals court allows Arizona day laborers

March 5, 2013 at 7:35 AM

SAN FRANCISCO, March 5 (UPI) -- An appeals court upheld a lower court's decision to strike down parts of Arizona's illegal-immigration law that prevent stopping traffic to solicit day workers.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously agreed a portion of the law prohibiting motorists from stopping traffic to solicit day laborers is a violation of the First Amendment right to seek work, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

Appellate Judge Raymond C. Fisher wrote the law singled out day labor solicitation as illegal while ignoring other types of solicitation that block traffic.

"Arizona defends this content-based distinction by invoking the  'unique' danger posed by labor solicitation. That justification is only minimally supported by the record and, tellingly, [the law's] introduction says nothing about traffic safety," he wrote for the court. "Rather, it emphasizes that its purpose is to encourage self-deportation by stripping undocumented immigrants of their livelihood."

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, said she was disappointed in the ruling.

"This provision offered one more tool for law enforcement to use in combating crime in our neighborhoods as a result of illegal immigration," spokesman Matthew Benson said in a statement.

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