In Mexico City, demonstrators marched outside the US Embassy on Wednesday. When they learned of the US judge’s decision to freeze the most controversial elements of the law, they broke into applause and shouts of “Si Se Pudo” (Yes We Could).
Wednesday’s 11th-hour injunction blocked the most controversial elements of the law, including requirements that police check the immigration status of suspected illegal immigrants. The injunction also froze sections of the law making it a state crime for undocumented migrants to work or for foreign residents to fail to carry immigration documents. But provisions that prohibit employers from hiring illegal migrants, or from stopping a car to pick up day laborers, remain in the law.
Mexico, along with 11 other Latin American countries, in June had filed an amicus brief in favor of a US federal lawsuit that sought to strike down the Arizona immigration law. Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Ministry on Wednesday called the injunction a “step in the right direction.”
While many here celebrated the decision, those with family in Arizona or other states seeking to pass similar laws say the danger is far from over.
“I’m relieved for now, but hopefully they’ll overturn the law for good,” says Evelin Vazquez of Mexico City. The 20-year-old waitress says her uncles and aunts who live in Oklahoma face similar legislation, which will only gain steam if the injunction is dismissed.