Judge Blocks Parts of AZ Law, Battle Not Over

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The legal battle is just beginning over Arizona's controversial immigration law after a federal judge blocked key provisions of the tough reform set to go into effect this week.

The law will still be enacted Thursday, but without most of the provisions that caused an uproar, including sections that would allow police officers to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton also took out part of the law that required immigrants carry their papers at all times.

Many opponents left Arizona, anticipating the law would go into effect and lead to racial profiling. While the ruling came as a relief to them, supporters felt the decision was a mistake.

The American Center for Law and Justice is involved in Arizona's legal fight. The group feels Wednesday's ruling is just the first of many court battles to come.

Click play to watch an updated report from Charlene Israel. Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, also gave his reaction to Wednesday's ruling. Click here for his comments.

"What [Judge Bolton] is saying here is that... if she didn't stop this now before the trial played out and before the full arguments were done, that it would cause too much confusion and be too difficult and the harm wouldn't be able to be repaired," said Jordan Sekulow, ACLJ director of international operations.

"The second battle will be a trial at the district court," he continued. "After that there will be appeals from whoever loses that to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. And then it could very well end up.... in the Supreme Court of the Untied States."

The ruling is the result of several lawsuits against Arizona's immigration law, including one by the U.S. Justice Department that asked the court for an injunction on the grounds that the new law overstepped the line between state and federal law.

Judge Bolton said the controversial sections of the law will remain on hold until the courts have resolved the outstanding issues -- which could take months or even years.

Important aspects of the law that were not blocked include the section making it a misdemeanor crime to transport an illegal immigrant or provide them intentional employment. The law would also still require state officials to work with the federal government to enforce existing immigration laws.

Arizona's immigration law, or Senate Bill 1070, sparked weeks of protests in the state and in other parts of the country.

For immigrants, the reform started what some called a "a mass exodus of fear" of being forced out the U.S.

"My kids were born here," said Francisco Aviles, an undocumented worker. "And now I have to come back to Mexico."

The law has already impacted some Arizona business owners.

"[SB] 1070 has cost us 25 percent of our business, and potentially, it could have cost us our whole business," said apartment building owner Rollie Rankin.

Supporters hold that the law is constitutional and question the Obama administration's motives for asking a federal judge to stop the law from being enforced.

Meanwhile, Gov. Jan Brewer called Wednesday's ruling "a bump in the road." A spokesman for the governor said the state would appeal decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Anchor

John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at Facebook.com/John.V.Jessup.