Prosecutors have started dismissing identity-theft cases in light of a judge’s preliminary injunction that bars Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and others from enforcing state laws that make it a felony to use a stolen identity to obtain employment.
But legal hurdles remain for the hundreds of immigrants arrested under the contested laws, with many facing additional charges or dealing with the ramifications of being an undocumented immigrant with a felony.
Workplace raids had become the backbone of Arpaio’s immigration-enforcement platform as courts have gradually stripped the office of other devices that critics say targeted undocumented immigrants.
A recent lawsuit aims to dismantle this last legal foothold, and U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell this month ordered law enforcement and prosecutors to stop pursuing ID-theft cases until he issues a final ruling on the case.
The suit focuses on two state statutes, passed in 2007 and 2008, that plaintiffs say were written to make life so difficult for undocumented immigrants that they would opt to “self-deport.” Further, they say, the laws are unconstitutional because they are pre-empted by federal law. (Read more from “Federal Judge Orders Sheriff to Stop Enforcing Law” HERE)