Arizona illegal-immigrant law draws strong opposition.

The toughest anti-illegal-immigrant measure in a generation passed the Arizona…

The toughest anti-illegal-immigrant measure in a generation passed the Arizona legislature this week. If signed, as expected, by Republican governor Jan Brewer, the law will give local police sweeping new powers in regard to undocumented workers. Currently, immigration offenses are violations of federal, not state, law, and local police officers only can inquire about a person’s immigration status if that person is suspected of another crime. Under SB1070, however, Arizona police will have the right to stop anyone on “reasonable suspicion” that they may be an illegal immigrant and can arrest them if they are not carrying a valid driver’s license or identity papers.

Passions about illegal immigration run high in Arizona, a point of entry for thousands of undocumented workers going to the U.S. from Mexico, and tensions were heightened by the recent murder of a rancher in a remote border area where illegal crossings are rampant. With 6.6 million residents, Arizona’s illegal-immigrant population is estimated to be half a million people. (See the great wall of America on the Mexico border.)

Both proponents and opponents of the law are vociferous. “This criminalizes undocumented status and turns dishwashers, janitors, landscapers and our neighbors into criminals,” says Chris Newman, legal director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. “The bill constitutes a complete disregard for the rights of nonwhites in Arizona. It effectively mandates racial profiling.” But state senator Russell Pearce, a Republican, says his bill “will not change a thing for lawful citizens. It simply takes the handcuffs off law enforcement and allows them to do their job. Our legal citizens have a constitutional right to expect protection of federal law against noncitizens. When those laws are not enforced, our citizens are denied equal protection.”

Source: Kevin O’Leary for Time.

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  • plomos

    Which ancestors? Did they get a visa from the natives?

  • Jerry

    How can there be complaints, if they are illeagal they should not be here and definatly should have no say in this. Do like my ancestors and come in legal and learn the language and pledge alliegance to this country not their old one.