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Arizona Immigration Law- What’s the big deal?

It’s been on the tip of every tongue and at the point of all writers pens.  The new Arizona immigration law that is.  Stars such as Ricky Martin, Seth MacFarlane, Shakira and Gloria Estafan have been publicly speaking against the new law.  So what’s the “hype” all about?  Well, a new immigration law was signed and passed on April 23rd by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer with outstanding republican support.  This is now the toughest anti-immigration law in the country and is set to take effect on July 28th.  It requires police to demand proof of citizenship or legal residency, i.e. a drivers license or state ID to anyone that they suspect to be residing in the country illegally.  A couple of other key points of the law is that it makes the employment or transport of illegal immigrants anywhere illegal.  It also allows for those citizens who feel that the law isn’t being enforced appropriately, to sue their local government.  It would be interesting to see the point of view of an immigration lawyer.

According to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer the bill “represents what’s best for Arizona” When Governor Brewer was asked if she thinks she could identify an illegal immigrant she responded by saying “ I do not know what an illegal immigrant looks like.  I can tell you that I think that there are people in Arizona that assume they know what an illegal immigrant looks like.  I don’t know if they know that for a fact or not” A stance held by some republican supporters of the new bill is Arizona spends about $3 billion to educate, medicate and incarcerate illegal immigrants.

Hmmm?  I think, sorta, kinda maybe if they are sure… but I’m not too sure?  My point is, it seems that this is a pretty dramatic law with heavy ramifications to be based on someone who thinks they know people who can assume they know what an illegal immigrant looks like.

Protestors of the new law fear that it will make people who appear to be foreigners targeted and victims of racial profiling.  President Obama said during a ceremony for new citizens, that the new law threatens to “undermine basic notions as fairness that we cherish as Americans”.


Further, the Supreme Court has ruled that police cannot stop an individual based solely on their Mexican appearance.  This brings into question the boundaries’ between the state and federal government.  Does Arizona even have the right to be tampering with immigration laws in this fashion?  If you area facing issues with immigration, it may be to your best advantage to seek out the advice of an immigration lawyer.
What do you think about the new law?  Is Arizona overstepping their boundaries?

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  1. Dan
    May 7, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    The law used to be innocent until proven guilty. With this new immigration law in Arizona the law has been flipped around. Assuming someone who looks like an illegal immigrant is guilty until they can show you their papers is criminal in itself as America.

  2. emuleman
    June 8, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    * The Arizona law simply enforces existing federal laws. Now Arizona police can actually enforce laws that are already on the books. Obviously the reason for this is because the federal government is not enforcing the law effectively in Arizona. The new Arizona law simply states that violating federal immigration law is now a state crime as well. Because illegal immigrants are by definition in violation of federal immigration laws, they can now be arrested by local law enforcement in Arizona. No new actions. No new powers. No new nothing. Simply enforcing federal law, and absolutely nothing else.

    * The law only allows police to ask about immigration status in the normal course of “lawful contact” with a person, such as a traffic stop or if they have committed a crime. Before asking a person about immigration status, law enforcement officials are required by the law to have “reasonable suspicion” that a person is an illegal immigrant. The concept of “reasonable suspicion” is well established by court rulings. Since Arizona does not issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, having a valid license creates a presumption of legal status. The same thing happens to me when I get pulled over, they ask to see my drivers license or identification card. This is not a new, radical concept or law. Police have been asking people for identification for many years.

    I just find it amazing that people are getting all worked up about this. Federal law already exists, but the Federal government does not enforce it. Arizona has a huge immigration problem. They finally decide to pass a law that allows state officers to enforce the federal laws. It is the federal government’s irresponsibility that has finally caused Arizona to take charge and protect its citizens.

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