Judge Halts Enforcement of Utah Immigration Law

Wednesday, 11 May 2011 09:04 AM

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On the day President Barack Obama asked Republicans to help him address the nation’s illegal immigration problem, a federal judge blocked a Utah immigration enforcement state law recently passed with GOP support from being enforced.

utah, immigrationU.S. District Court Judge Clark Waddoups issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday during a hearing that took less than an hour, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Wednesday.

The immigration enforcement law was on the books for 15 hours before it was blocked.

Attorneys for the state and America Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigration Law Center that brought the lawsuit will argue the case for a preliminary injunction before the judge July 14.

Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem, sponsored the law, which went into effect midnight Tuesday. It was modeled after Arizona’s enforcement-only law signed more than a year ago by Gov. Jan Brewer. Part of that law has been stopped by federal courts as well.

Utah assistant attorney general Jerrold Jensen argued in court that the lawyers for the civil rights groups were arguing the wrong state’s law.
“What they want to do is argue the Arizona case all over again,” Jensen said.

On Tuesday, Obama traveled to El Paso, Texas to give a speech on immigration. He said his administration has been doing its part to crack down on illegal immigration. He asked for Republican support to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws.

The president, however, didn’t address the many immigration laws passed by states due to the failure of the federal government to take action.

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