Lawyers with the Justice Department and the National Immigration Law Center argued it promotes warrantless arrests, creates confusion among police amid a patchwork of criminal classifications across 50 states and endangers legal residents who may unknowingly violate the law by taking an undocumented immigrant child to school.
"We think the judge had real questions for the state today," NILC attorney Karen Tumlin said. "To make sure individuals aren't deprived of their liberty without probable cause for their arrest."
Waddoups who ordered the oral arguments as well as a series of briefs in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Arizona's enforcement-only law, SB1070 will now weigh everything and issue a ruling. He gave no time frame for issuing a ruling.
In the meantime, the law passed by the Utah Legislature in 2011 and sponsored by former Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem, remains under an existing restraining order keeping it from taking effect.
The law was signed along with four other bills by Gov. Gary Herbert that same year amid a rising tea-party movement to crack down on illegal immigration and little sign of comprehensive immigration reform coming from the federal government.