Phoenix, Arizona (CNN) — A federal judge has blocked one of the most controversial sections of a tough Arizona immigration law, granting a preliminary injunction Wednesday that prevents police from questioning people about their immigration status.
That provision required police to “make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person stopped, detained or arrested” if the officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the United States illegally.
U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton’s ruling, in response to a motion filed by the federal government, came with scant hours to go before the law goes into effect.
She also blocked provisions of the law making it a crime to fail to apply for or carry alien registration papers or “for an unauthorized alien to solicit, apply for, or perform work,” and a provision “authorizing the warrantless arrest of a person” if there is reason to believe that person might be subject to deportation.
Seven lawsuits are seeking to block implementation of the law, signed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer in April. It is to go into effect Thursday.
The law also targets those who hire illegal immigrant laborers or knowingly transport them.