Two years after it passed, and after partially surviving an Obama administration court challenge, Arizona’s tough immigration law took effect Tuesday.
“Today is truly an important day for Arizona and supporters of the rule of law,” Gov. Jan Brewer said in a statement saying that state and local police will now begin enforcing the law.
Earlier this year the Supreme Court upheld the law’s key provision that allows police to question the legal status of those they believe to be in the U.S. illegally. The court did strike down other parts of the law that would have created state penalties for immigration violations, but a majority of justices said letting police check immigration status is not, on its face, a violation of the Constitution.
Mrs. Brewer, a Republican, said police must enforce the law “efficiently, effectively and in harmony with the Constitution and civil rights.”
The law had been held in check while other the Obama administration challenge and several others wound their way through the lower courts. But on Tuesday the federal judge who had blocked the law more than two years ago lifted that order.