(Newsroom America) -- A federal judge ruled Wednesday that police in Arizona have the authority to question the citizenship status of suspects believed to be in the country illegally, upholding a key provision of state law.
The ruling, by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton, will clear the way for police, while enforcing other laws, to check the status of those suspected of entering the U.S. illegally.
The provision, the most controversial of the law, has been the center of a two-year legal battle that resulted with a U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the requirement. The Obama administration had sued the state of Arizona over the provision, saying it was unconstitutional. Arizona officials argued the law mirrored federal statutes and was therefore allowable.
The office of Republican Gov. Jan Brewer argued that opponents of the provision were merely speculating that the law allowed police to racially profile suspects. Also, lawyers for her office argued that police in the state have received special training to ensure they avoided discriminatory practices.
Brewer's office said she expects the law to go into effect shortly, following Bolton's ruling.
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