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.