Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant Law Ruled Unconstitutional

AILA Applauds Ninth Circuit’s Decision in Defense of Supremacy Clause

Monday, April 11, 2011

George Tzamaras / Jenny Levy
202-507-7649 / 202-507-7628 /

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) applauds today’s decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a preliminary injunction against Arizona’s anti-immigrant legislation, SB 1070. The Ninth Circuit correctly denied the state’s appeal of a federal district court’s July decision that prevented segments of the law from going into effect because it violates the U.S. Constitution.

“The Ninth Circuit’s ruling clearly previews the demise of the Arizona law on the merits,” said AILA President David Leopold. He continued, “for a federal district court to grant a preliminary injunction blocking the provisions of a state law, it must conclude that the challengers, in this case the Obama Administration, will likely win the case on its merits. In upholding Judge Bolton’s decision, the Ninth Circuit has signaled, in a loud and clear voice, that Arizona’s attempt to regulate immigration law and policy directly violates the Constitution and will not stand.”

“The Ninth Circuit has confirmed what we’ve said all along; the SB 1070 ‘show me your papers’ law is unconstitutional because it infringes on the federal government's exclusive power to make and enforce immigration laws. One of its most egregious provisions unlawfully requires state and local police to ask for proof of immigration status from every individual stopped for a traffic violation or other civil infraction if they have a ‘reasonable suspicion’ that the person is in the U.S. in violation of the immigration law,” said AILA President David Leopold.

It is unclear whether the state of Arizona will appeal this decision to the full circuit court, or to the Supreme Court. “We are pleased with the Ninth Circuit’s decision and remain confident that the injunction blocking SB 1070 will continue to be upheld,” concluded Leopold.


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 11041131.