Arizona immigrants craft response to 'show me your papers' law
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Arizona police can start enforcing the law's "show me your papers" provision. Arizona immigrant rights groups suggest that illegal immigrants carry no documents.
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It's a tool for local police, but it won't cure the state's immigration woes, said Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the measure.Skip to next paragraph
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"Only the federal government has the resources and responsibility necessary to achieve that," Brewer said.
The law's opponents are spreading out across the state, asking police departments not to enforce the provision. The incentive they offer: better cooperation from immigrants who would be more likely to report crimes, said Carlos Garcia, an organizer with immigrant rights group the Puente Movement.
Not enforcing the provision could open up officers to lawsuits from people claiming the agencies aren't fully enforcing the law.
Some backers of the requirement, including Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, have questioned the level of cooperation they will get from federal immigration agents.
Federal officials say they will check people's immigration status when officers call. But they'll send an agent to arrest someone only when it fits with their priorities, such as catching repeat violators and those who are a threat to public safety and national security.
Bolton initially blocked the provision after the Obama administration challenged it on the grounds that federal immigration law trumps state law. She has said opponents are speculating on racial profiling claims.
Ramirez said she isn't willing to give up 18 years in the United States over a law she sees as a threat to her livelihood.
Her father brought their family to the U.S. from Torreon in the Mexican state of Coahuila because he couldn't find work there and wanted a better future for them.
She's been a visible part of the legal battle because she sees importance in her education mission, particularly for those who don't get involved in immigrant-rights groups or don't watch television to keep up-to-date on the law.
"That's what I'm afraid of — that a lot of the people don't know what to do," Ramirez said.
Fonseca reported from Flagstaff, Ariz.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.