Civil liberties groups have taken aim at a controversial immigration law that is due to go into effect in the state of Arizona on 29 July. Facing challenges, the law makes it a state crime for illegal migrants to be in Arizona without proof of legal status. Signed in April by Gov. Jan Brewer, it requires police to check for evidence of legal status and bars people from hiring day workers off the streets or soliciting them
. Calls to boycott Arizona, and demonstrations against the new law started up within hours of the governor's announcement. The American Civil Liberties Union, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the National Immigration Law Center are among the groups that want to see the law overturned. The key legal issue, according to the challengers, is whether the state law interferes with the federal government's duty to handle immigration. The law could also violate equal protection laws. Laws against illegal immigrants in several other states, including California and Texas, were overturned using one or both of these arguments. It's possible the law will survive the court challenge, according to a Los Angeles Times report, with Arizona arguing that the law does not seek to regulate immigration but merely adds state penalties for what are already federal crimes.
Date written/update: 2010-07-29