PHOENIX — A part of Arizona's 2010 immigration law aimed at day laborers and those who hire them is unconstitutional and unenforceable, a federal appeals court ruled today.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the state's argument that its interest in ensuring traffic is not blocked gives it the right to make it a crime for someone to enter a car stopped on the street to go to work elsewhere. The same law also criminalizes drivers who stop to pick of laborers.

Appellate Judge Raymond Fisher, writing for the unanimous three-judge panel, said it would have been one thing if the state simply made it illegal to block traffic.

Instead, the provision of SB 1070 specifically — and only — target day laborers. And that, Fisher said, makes it a unconstitutional infringement on the First Amendment rights of the individuals.

Fisher also said that lawmakers, in adopting the 2010 legislation, made it clear that they were less interested in traffic safety than they were in discouraging illegal immigration. He pointed out the measure spells out that one goal of the law is to make life so difficult for those not here legally that they leave the state or the country.

Gov. Jan Brewer said she had not seen the ruling.

But the governor, who signed the law in 2010, said it simply emphasizes that Arizona believes in “the rule of law.” And she was not deterred by the fact that this court now — and the Supreme Court which voided several other provisions of SB 1070 — has concluded otherwise.

Read more in tomorrow's Star

Senior Editor, News, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Az.