Published: Jul 15, 2010 11:35 AM EDT
Updated: Jul 15, 2010 8:36 AM EDT

PHOENIX (AP) - A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments

Thursday over whether Arizona's new immigration should take effect

later this month, marking the first major hearing in one of seven

challenges to the strict law.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton also will consider arguments

over Gov. Jan Brewer's request to dismiss the challenge filed by

Phoenix police Officer David Salgado and the statewide nonprofit

group Chicanos Por La Causa.

The judge said last week she wasn't making any promises on

whether she will rule on the officer's request to block enforcement

of the law before it takes effect July 29.

The law requires police, while enforcing other laws, to question

a person's immigration status if officers have a reasonable

suspicion that the person is in the country illegally. It also

makes it a state crime for immigrants to not carry immigration

documents.

Supporters say the law was needed because the federal government

hasn't adequately confronted illegal immigration in Arizona, the

busiest illegal gateway for immigrants into the United States.

Opponents say the law would lead to racial profiling and distract

from police officers' traditional roles in combating crimes in

their communities.

Since Brewer signed the measure into law on April 23, it has

inspired rallies in Arizona and elsewhere by advocates on both

sides of the immigration debate. Some opponents have advocated a

tourism boycott of Arizona.

It also led an unknown number of illegal immigrants to leave

Arizona for other American states or their home countries and

prompted the Obama administration to file a lawsuit seeking to

invalidate the law.

Salgado's attorneys argue the judge should block the law before

it takes effect because it would require the officer to use race as

a primary factor in enforcing the law and because the state law is

trumped by federal immigration law.

His lawyers also say the Phoenix Police Department is planning

to enforce the new law, even though federal authorities haven't

authorized all Phoenix officers to enforce federal immigration law.

Attorneys for Brewer asked that the officer's lawsuit be thrown

out because Salgado doesn't allege a real threat of harm from

enforcing the new law and instead bases his claim on speculation.

They also said the law prohibits racial profiling and that it isn't

trumped by federal immigration because it doesn't attempt to

regulate the conditions under which people can enter and leave the

country.

The other challenges to the law were filed by the U.S.

Department of Justice, civil rights organizations, clergy groups, a

researcher from Washington and a Tucson police officer.

Bolton will hold similar hearings on July 22 in the lawsuits

filed by the federal government and civil rights groups.