Oops: Arizona Can't Enforce New Law Without Fed Help

And isn't likely to get it
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2010 6:45 AM CDT
Updated Jul 28, 2010 7:43 AM CDT
A Border Patrol agent is reflected in the mirror as he and another agent patrol near the US-Mexico border in Nogales, AZ, July 27, 2010. Arizona's new immigration law takes effect Thursday, July 29.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – When the Arizona immigration law takes effect tomorrow, police will be able to check the immigration status of people stopped for routine infractions like speeding, detain them if they turn out to be illegal immigrants, then ... probably release them after a while. Turns out that since only the federal government has the authority to deport people, Arizona can round 'em up, but can't send 'em home. And federal authorities don't appear inclined to help Arizona enforce the law they are challenging in court.

The federal immigration agency's top priorities for deportation are serious criminals, re-entering felons, and recent border-crossers, a spokesman for Homeland Security told the Wall Street Journal. Anyone who doesn't fit into these categories might be issued a notice to appear before an immigration judge, but won't be detained for deportation. Officials say they don't plan to let Arizona's dragnet interfere with their priorities or create a logjam of detainees.
(Read more Arizona stories.)

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