PHOENIX, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Arizona Senate Bill 1070 is now a shell of its former self. The package of controversial anti-immigration laws, passed by Arizona legislators in 2010, has been almost entirely dismantled after a federal judge struck down one of its last remaining provisions on Friday.
Under scrutiny in this latest lawsuit was a section of SB 1070 that attempted to make "smuggling of human beings for profit or commercial purposes" a state crime. On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton nixed that section, ruling that prosecuting human smuggling was the sole domain of the federal government.
"It imposes additional and different state penalties than federal law," Bolton wrote in her decision. "It divests federal authorities of the exclusive power to prosecute these specific smuggling crimes."
"Yet another Arizona anti-immigrant law has now been struck down," Omar Jadwat, an attorney for the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project, said in a statement Saturday. "Since we prevailed in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals against Arizona's so-called 'harboring' law it has been clear that this smuggling provision's days were numbered, and we are glad that the district court properly ruled it unconstitutional."
Critics of the law, as well as immigrant rights groups, have had strong support from the White House since the beginning.
Ever since Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 -- officially the "Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act" -- into law, the Obama administration and the Justice Department has sought to nullify it, not only on the grounds that it was unfair but that it crossed a constitutional line.
The Supreme Court largely agreed with the federal government's position when they struck down several portions of the law in 2012.
Now, only one main section remains, the section which enables police to question people about their immigration status during a traffic stop -- regardless of the reason for the stop, but only if there is reason to suspect a person is in the country illegally. The Supreme Court declined to strike down that provision in 2012, but suggested that law could be scrapped if it was applied unconstitutionally. The ACLU is alleging just that in a separate lawsuit.