The nation’s toughest immigration law has been in effect for three months. But after the federal courts prevented key portions from going into effect, it has failed to live up to both opponents’ worst fears and supporters’ greatest hopes.

Immigrant-rights groups and major Arizona law-enforcement agencies say they’ve heard of no arrests made or citations issued using the statutes created under Senate Bill 1070, and no Arizona resident has taken advantage of the portion of the law that allows them to sue an official or agency that is not enforcing federal immigration law to the fullest extent.

The law that went into effect on July 29 is a shadow of its original self. The day before, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton halted four key provisions from going into effect, including the portion of the law that requires a police officer to verify a person’s status when there is reasonable suspicion that the subject is an undocumented immigrant.

Gov. Jan Brewer is appealing Bolton’s ruling, and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments from both sides Monday in San Francisco.

But several state statutes created under SB 1070 went into effect on July 29. Individuals on both sides of the issue said after Bolton’s ruling that the law still had teeth.

The statutes allowed to go into effect do several things:

• Require government officials and agencies to enforce federal immigration laws to the fullest extent permitted by federal law and allow Arizona residents to sue if the official or agency adopts a policy that violates this requirement.

• Allow law enforcement to pull anybody over for any traffic violation if the driver is suspected of engaging in the “smuggling” of human beings for profit or commercial purposes. This could include stopping a driver for a secondary offense such as not wearing a seat belt, which in every other circumstance can be cited only if the driver is stopped for a separate primary violation such as speeding.

• Make it a crime to pick up or be picked up as a day laborer if the vehicle is stopped on a road and impeding traffic.

• Make it a crime to encourage an illegal immigrant to come to Arizona or transport, conceal, harbor or shield an immigrant if the person knows or recklessly disregards the fact the immigrant is in the country illegally. This offense has to be during the commission of another criminal offense.

Source: Alia Beard Rau for The Arizona Republic via USA Today.

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