Arizona Criminal Law on Undocumented Alien Transport Void
An Arizona law criminalizing the transport or harboring of unauthorized aliens was struck down by a federal appeals court in San Francisco that ruled it was vague and pre-empted by federal statutes.
The law was part of sweeping immigration measures Arizona enacted in 2010 to reduce the influx of undocumented immigrants to the state. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 struck down much of the law on grounds that states must defer to the federal government on immigration policy.
The rules against harboring aliens were challenged by groups that claimed they could face prosecution for providing sanctuary and shelter to undocumented immigrants. After a federal judge blocked enforcement of the laws, Arizona appealed.
The statute “is incomprehensible to a person of ordinary intelligence,” the appeals court said in today’s ruling, saying federal law already makes it a crime to facilitate the unlawful entry or movement of aliens in the U.S.
Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the ruling.
The case is Valle Del Sol v. Whiting, 12-17152, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (San Francisco).
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