The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to restore a provision of an Arizona law that would criminalize the “harboring and transportation” of undocumented immigrants.
The justices’ decision not to hear the state’s appeal leaves intact the ruling adopted in October 2013 by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which established that federal immigration law takes precedence over this provision.
The provision in litigation, part of Arizona’s controversial SB 1070 immigration law, would criminalize both encouraging the undocumented to enter the state and providing them with transportation or somewhere to stay in Arizona.
Several groups sued to have that legislation overturned.
Because of those lawsuits, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton temporarily suspended the provision before it took effect.
In a 2012 case, the Supreme Court upheld some parts of SB 1070, including the controversial “show me your papers” provision.
Defenders of civil rights in Arizona expressed their satisfaction Monday with the Supreme Court’s decision.
“This is another example of how the courts are taking the right decision about this law being unnecessary, because there are already federal laws that cover situations of this kind,” Alessandra Soler, executive director of the Arizona ACLU, told Efe in Tucson.
The ACLU believes that anyone could be charged with a crime who gives an undocumented person a ride, though it’s only to take them to school, church or the doctor.