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On the other side is Arizona, whose strict crackdown law passed in 2010, has been used as a model by a number of other states.

The Arizona law created state penalties associated with illegal immigration, and ordered state and local police to check the legal status of those they encounter in their normal duties whom they suspect of being in the country illegally.

The Supreme Court struck down the state penalties for illegal immigration, arguing that they intruded on the federal government’s prerogatives. But the justices left intact the “show your papers” part of the law, saying as long as the checks were conducted quickly, they didn’t violate anyone’s rights. They also said the federal government could refuse to respond to the calls from local law enforcement.

The court did leave open the possibility of revisiting the law if police abused it, and the ACLU says that’s what happened with Mr. Valenzuela.

They also presented a list of four other cases where they said local police used the law’s powers to target Hispanics, including one where police stopped a car for having a burned-out taillight and ended up taking a passenger to federal deportation authorities, and another instance in which a U.S. citizen was jailed after he picked a water bottle out of the trash at a convenience store.

In the case of Mr. Valenzuela, the ACLU said he provided police with three forms of identification: his bus ID, his community college ID and an identification from a local worker center.

The ACLU accused Officer South of false imprisonment and asked for a $100,000 settlement as well as attorney fees.