Fox legal analyst predicts court will block Arizona immigration law
Napolitano: Some cops will create pretext to abuse law
A Fox News legal analyst believes that a controversial Arizona anti-illegal immigration law could be tied up in court for years. Judge Andrew Napolitano told Fox News host Gregg Jarrett that he expects a federal court to enjoin a law that requires people to prove their residency if stopped by police.
Several civil rights groups filed suit against the law Monday morning. AZCentral.com reports:
Participants will include the American Civil Liberties Union, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, National Immigration Law Center, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Day Laborer Organizing Network and Asian Pacific American Legal Center. They allege that the law “encourages racial profiling, endangers public safety and betrays American values.”
Theirs will be the fifth lawsuit challenging the law, which is scheduled to go into effect July 29.
A provision in the law attempts to prevent racial profiling. “A law enforcement official… may NOT solely consider race, color, or national origin. A person is presumed NOT to be an alien who is unlawfully present,” reads SB 1070.
But Napolitano says this language will not be enough to prevent racial profiling.
“You know how police can find a pretext to stop someone,” Napolitano told Jarrett.
“I’m not suggesting an ignoble purpose. They may really believe that the person is an illegal immigrant who doesn’t belong here. They have to find some way to have the lawful contact so they can so they can get to the illegal immigrant,” explained Napolitano.
It could be as simple as “I looked at him and he looked the other way,” according to the Fox legal analyst.
“The basis for a lawful contact, the threshold is so low and so easy to achieve. That’s the fear,” said Napolitano.
“Will all cops do that? No. Will some cops do that? Probably,” he suggested.
Based on that, Napolitano believes a court will at least temporarily block the law. “I think a federal court will enjoin it — stop it from being enforced and then litigate the issue,” he said.
“It could take years,” Napolitano and Jarrett both agreed.
This video is from Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, broadcast May 17, 2010.