Arizona illegal immigration bill: draconian or common sense?
A bill passed by the Arizona State Legislature takes aim at illegal immigration by directing police to look into the immigration status of anyone whom they have 'reasonable suspicion' to believe is in the country unlawfully.
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“Arizona’s SB 1070 is a no-nonsense, common-sense example of a state acting where the federal government is failing,” says Dustin Carnevale, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). “This legislation is a reaction to the inaction of Washington with regard to border security and immigration enforcement.“Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures The scene at the US/Mexico border
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Mr. Carnevale says that SB 1070 is simply the “next logical step” in Arizona’s attempts to crack down on illegal immigration and protect its citizens. He points to a 2006 Arizona law that would penalize companies with a pattern of hiring illegal aliens, and a measure last year that made it a crime for a state worker to give improper benefits to an illegal alien.
“It’s no surprise that a state that has been hit the hardest – with $1.7 billion annually on illegal immigration and the recent tragic murder of [rancher] Robert Krentz – would produce such stringent legislation, “ says Carnevale.
But other groups have already picketed outside the Gov. Brewer's office in Phoenix, urging her to veto the bill, and they promise legal challenges and more. The National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), for instance, planned a demonstration outside the Federal Building in downtown Los Angeles Thursday, with legal analysts to spotlight why the bill is unconstitutional. And they say there will be giant marches in the street across the country as there were over the federal Sensenbrenner-sponsored immigration bill in 2006 and 2007.
“This is racial profiling of the most hurtful kind, and is way beyond the pale,” says Pablo Alvarado, director of NDLON. “This has been the strategy of the anti-immigration forces from the beginning… to make life so miserable for immigrants that they will self-deport. I promise there will be plenty of lawsuits over this and we won’t stop until this is declared unconstitutional. Everyone has to know we are not going to take this. We will fight.”
Ms. Salas's organization has been coordinating immigrant rights groups nationally to push for comprehensive, federal immigration reform.
“Arizona’s knee-jerk reaction should be a wake-up call to Washington," she says, "that a hodgepodge of immigration enforcement laws is likely to result in more chaos throughout the nation, not the long-term solution we all seek."