Arizona on Thursday appealed a judge’s decision to block key parts of the state’s crackdown on illegal immigrants and police in Phoenix arrested scores of activists protesting the remaining measures in the law.

Lawyers for Governor Jan Brewer and Arizona asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to lift an injunction blocking the most intrusive parts of the law, known as SB 1070, and asked for the appeal to be handled quickly.

Tensions over the law have inflamed a national debate over immigration, which has festered for decades and promises to play into the elections in November, when President Barack Obama’s Democrats are fighting to retain control of Congress.

U.S. District Court judge Susan Bolton on Wednesday blocked the law’s most controversial elements, arguing that immigration matters are the federal government’s responsibility.

The law had drawn wide popular support in this state bordering Mexico and across the United States as a whole, but was opposed by President Barack Obama and human rights groups.

Source: Carolina Madrid and Tim Gaynor for Yahoo! Reuters.

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