In El Badrawi v. USA, 07-cv-1074 (D. Conn. Dec. April 11, 2011), the United States District Court in Connecticut ruled that an H-1B worker who had timely sought an extension of that visa status, and who was authorized to continue working under 8 CFR §274a.12(b)(20), could not be arrested or subjected to removal. Although a district court decision may not have precedential value beyond the plaintiff in the case, it is nevertheless significant because it provides a stepping-stone for other courts to be similarly persuaded.
In U.S. v. Arizona (9th Cir. April 11, 2011), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed an injunction against several controversial aspects of Arizona’s S.B. 1070, which established a variety of immigration-related state offenses and defined the immigration enforcement authority of Arizona’s state and local law enforcement officers.
Among other things, the Ninth Circuit noted that "Congress explicitly required that in enforcing federal immigration law, state and local officers 'shall' be directed by the Attorney General. This mandate forecloses any argument that state or local officers can enforce federal immigration law as directed by a mandatory state law.