Justice says judge ruled correctly in Arizona case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department said Wednesday that a judge ruled correctly in blocking the most controversial parts of Arizona’s immigration law.

“States can and do play a role in cooperating with the federal government in its enforcement of the immigration laws, but they must do so within our constitutional framework,” department spokeswoman Hannah August said in a statement.

She added that “while we understand the frustration of Arizonans with the broken immigration system, a patchwork of state and local policies would seriously disrupt federal immigration enforcement and would ultimately be counterproductive.”

The department says it will continue to work toward smarter and more effective enforcement while pressing for a comprehensive approach that provides “true security and strengthens accountability and responsibility in the immigration system at the national level.”

A federal judge in Phoenix ruled against sections of the Arizona law requiring officers to check a person’s immigration status while in the process of enforcing other laws.

The judge also put on hold parts of the law that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times, and made it illegal for undocumented workers to solicit employment in public places. In addition, the judge blocked officers from making warrantless arrests of suspected illegal immigrants.