Arizona's Immigration Law Comes To San Francisco

A three judge panel in San Francisco takes up one of the country's most controversial subjects.

By Lori Preuitt
|  Monday, Nov 1, 2010  |  Updated 11:33 AM PDT
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Damian Trujillo

Gov. Jan Brewer addressing media after 9th Circuit hearing in San Francisco

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The eyes of the country are on the city of San Fransisco for a couple reasons this morning.

First, the home team is on the brink of a World Series victory against the Texas Rangers.

And second, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is taking on a very controversial immigration law in Arizona, known as SB 1070.  The court is being asked to decide if the law should continue to be blocked.

Arizona lawmakers passed one of the nation's strictest immigration law back in April.  It sparked immediate protests in Arizona and across the country.  Those protests spilled on to the streets of San Francisco Monday ahead of the court hearing.

Monday at 9 a.m., a three-judge court panel heard arguments for Arizona's appeal of a lower ruling that put parts of the state's immigration law on hold.  The hearing lasted about an hour and a ruling is not expected for weeks, if not months.

Arizona officials, including the state's governor Jan Brewer, want the panel to overturn provisions that are currently blocking a requirement that police must question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally during normal police stops, such as a traffic ticket.  The Arizona law would also make it a state crime for an immigrant not to carry valid immigration papers with them at all times. 
   
In a rare move, Brewer traveled to the city to take part in the case personally.  Her gubernatorial opponent Terry Goddard told supporters Sunday that her visit was done to score political points and that she had no role in the proceedings.

Brewer's point, which she makes often, is that Arizona needs the law because Washington, D.C. lawmakers have failed to act on the issue.  She says she will take the issue all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if she has to.
 

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