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Arizona defends statute in SB 1070 law

April 2, 2013 at 5:33 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, April 2 (UPI) -- The state appeal of a statute of Arizona's controversial immigration law, enjoined in September by a federal court, began in San Francisco Tuesday.

The state has appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court to allow the provision of SB 1070 making it illegal to transport of harbor "illegal aliens," a misdemeanor unless 10 or more "aliens" are involved, The Arizona Republic reported Tuesday, noting police can impound a driver's car if he or she is caught with only one "alien."

It is the sixth time a portion of the law has been enjoined and appealed by the state.

"The provision of SB 1070 would give our local law enforcement one more tool" to combat crime, said Matthew Benson, spokesman for Gov. Jan Brewer.

Omar Jadwat, who will argue the case before the three-judge panel, warned the "transport statute" is so vaguely written it could maker criminals of people who merely invite friends to ride in their cars and could imperil workers for religious or community-based organizations.

In the September ruling, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton wrote the statute was pre-empted by federal immigration law.

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