AZ Central
Sept. 30, 2013

Arizona’s most populous county halted prosecutions of both smugglers and those being smuggled on Monday.

The freeze came after U.S. District Judge Robert Broomfield ruled Friday that a 2005 state law doesn’t allow Sheriff Joe Arpaio or county prosecutors to charge immigrants with conspiracy to smuggle themselves across the border. Broomfield said the policy criminalizes actions that federal law treats as a civil matter.

“It is hard to imagine a more blatant conflict than that,” he said Friday in his 60-page ruling.

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