A federal judge on Wednesday blocked the most controversial parts of Arizona's immigration law from taking effect, delivering a last-minute victory to opponents of the crackdown.
The overall law will still take effect Thursday, but without the provisions that angered opponents - including sections that required officers to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.
The judge also put on hold parts of the law that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times, and made it illegal for undocumented workers to solicit employment in public places. In addition, the judge blocked officers from making warrantless arrests of suspected illegal immigrants.
"Requiring Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies to determine the immigration status of every person who is arrested burdens lawfully-present aliens because their liberty will be restricted while their status is checked," U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled.
She ruled that the controversial sections should be put on hold until the courts resolve the issues. Other provisions of the law, many of them procedural and slight revisions to existing Arizona immigration statute, will go into effect at 12:01 a.m.