The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled against the State of Arizona on Monday and let stand a lower court decision blocking the most contentious parts of the state’s immigration law from going into effect.

The mother from Cameroon came to immigration court bearing scars: She’d been imprisoned back home, she said, beaten with cables, burned with cigarettes and raped repeatedly, contracting HIV. Her husband had died behind bars; her three children she’d left behind were struggling to survive.

The mother from Cameroon came to immigration court bearing scars: She’d been imprisoned back home, she said, beaten with cables, burned with cigarettes and raped repeatedly, contracting HIV. Her husband had died behind bars; her three children she’d left behind were struggling to survive.

A law approved four years ago by Hazleton, Pa., clamping down on illegal immigrants and prompting similar moves in towns across the country, has been declared unconstitutional by a federal appeals court.

According to Chief Judge Theodor McKee: “It is … not our job to sit in judgment of whether state and local frustration about federal immigration policy is warranted. We are, however, required to intervene when states and localities directly undermine the federal objectives embodied in statutes enacted by Congress.”