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Arizona sheriff loses appeal on immigration law limit

9:30 PM, Sep 25, 2012   |    comments
Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona
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PHOENIX (AP) - A federal appeals court has denied an Arizona sheriff's request to reverse a lower-court decision barring his deputies from detaining people solely on the suspicion that they're illegal immigrants.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a 23-page ruling Tuesday. The San Francisco court considered the narrow question of a preliminary injunction while a Phoenix trial court considers the merits of the entire lawsuit against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

A small group of Latinos claim Arpaio's deputies pulled over some vehicles only to make immigration status checks during regular traffic patrols and the sheriff's 20 special immigration patrols.

A federal judge in December ordered Arpaio's department to refrain from conducting such traffic stops while the class action suit was being considered.

Arpaio appealed, arguing his deputies had probable cause to make the stops.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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