How Do You Feel About Arizona's New Immigration Law?

BlogHer Original Post

A recent Arizona law allows Arizona police to question and to even arrest people about whom they have a "reasonable suspicion" regarding their immigration status. According to the New York Times:

It requires police officers, “when practicable,” to detain people they reasonably suspect are in the country without authorization and to verify their status with federal officials, unless doing so would hinder an investigation or emergency medical treatment.

The law also makes not carrying immigration papers a state crime —- a misdemeanor. In addition, it allows people to sue local government or agencies if they believe federal or state immigration law is not being enforced.

Protests And Prayers Erupt In AZ After Stringent Immigration Law Is Signed

The San Francisco Chronicle explains that:

Arizona's law is portrayed by its backers as a collective act of self-defense from the federal government's failure to control its borders. Polls indicate the measure is strongly supported by voters in a state whose border with Mexico is the site of more illegal crossings than any other in the nation.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund said that AZ Governor Brewer had "caved to the radical fringe" and added, "... Arizona should brace for the inevitable response to its leadership’s folly – decreased cooperation with police that yields higher rates of crime, decreased international commerce that has ripple effects throughout the state economy, and a significant waste of taxpayer resources on defending and vainly attempting to implement a deeply flawed law."

The National Council of State Legislatures reports that many states are active in creating legislation regarding immigration.

As of November 20, 2009, state legislatures enacted 222 laws and adopted 131 resolutions in 48 states, for a total of 353 laws and resolutions nationwide. Of these, 20 were vetoed by governors. In 2009, approximately 1,500 bills were considered by all 50 state legislatures...The top areas of interest in 2009 are identification/driver’s license with 46 laws enacted, followed by health (28) and education (27). Human trafficking laws tripled, and health and education laws doubled in 2009 compared to 2008.

Protests and rallies have been peaceful since the law was signed, but one protest getting attention was a swastika smeared in refried beans on windows on state Senate and Congress buildings.

President Obama has referred to this bill as "misguided", and encouraged Congress to take action in creating meaningful federal policy.

Ashleigh, writing in The Burrow lives in Arizona and is concerned about the uneven requirements based on race. She also discusses the alternative of a National ID Card as a way to level the playing field.

I've never understood the objections to a National Identity Card. But concerns exist and the NIC does not. Instead of hearing "license, registration and NIC" at a traffic stop, we'll be hearing "license, registration and passport." We'll be erecting barriers between us, requiring only some of our number to carry identification. Will we be seeing hoodies with sweat-resistant passport holders?
I don't like feeling sad about my country. I don't like feeling embarrassed by my state. But the birthers are trying to amend our election laws to require samples of amniotic fluid before you can run for President of the United State on the Arizona ballot and I don't know..... I'm confused..... depressed..... outraged.....or just plain sad.

Erin, in Gender Across Borders, believes the law will be declared unconstitutional.

It is unclear exactly what the police are supposed to base their suspicions on, because according to the New York Times, Governor Jan Brewer has promised that racial profiling won’t be tolerated and police will “have proper training to carry out the law.” Presumably this training will include some sort of ESP lessons so that officers may guess a subject’s citizenship while blindfolded.

Faye Anderson of Anderson@Large supports the legislation.

Like 70 percent of Arizonans and 60 percent of voters nationwide, I support the measure. The federal government has failed to secure the border and enforce existing laws. So Arizona lawmakers did the job Congress won’t do. That said, I agree with opponents that the standard of “reasonable suspicion” an individual is unlawfully in the country is overly broad.

Cassy, from Hot Air is also in favor of the bill, pointing to the "overwhelming crime" by illegals in Arizona.

If illegal immigrants weren’t committing such high numbers of criminal acts, then I have no doubt that Arizona lawmakers would be looking the other way, just like the federal government is. But the crime makes it impossible for lawmakers to ignore the problem.

How do you feel about the law?




~~ Contributing Editor, Mata H. also blogs right along at Time's Fool

Recent Posts by Mata H


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