Fact Sheet: Arizona's SB1070 Immigration Enforcement Law

Discussion in 'Immigration/Illegal Immigration' started by Angelhair, May 2, 2010.

  1. Angelhair
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    Angelhair Senior Member

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    Arizona's Gov. Brewer signed SB1070 into law in April of 2010. The new law would:

    Make it illegal in the State of Arizona for an alien to not register with the government, thus being an "illegal alien" (already the case at the federal level: 8 USC 1306a; USC 1304e)
    Allow police to detain people where there is a "reasonable suspicion" that they're illegal aliens (see the recent court case Estrada v. Rhode Island for an idea of what "reasonable suspicion" might entail)
    Prohibits sanctuary cities (already prohibited at the federal level, 8 USC 1373) and allows citizens to sue any such jurisdiction.
    70 percent of Arizona voters support the new law. Much of the outcry in the press has stemmed from misinformation about the law that may have originated with the local paper, The Arizona Republic.

    Reality vs. Myth: SB 1070

    Myth No. 1: The law requires aliens to carry identification that they weren't already required to carry.

    Reality: On the contrary, the law simply penalizes aliens who fail to carry the registration documents that federal law already requires them to keep on their person. These federal crimes (8 United States Code Section 1304(a) or 1306(e)) have been around since 1940. The Arizona law simply adds a layer of state penalty to what already was a crime under federal law.

    The SB1070 provision in question reads:

    "For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or agency of this state . . . where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person."

    The majority requests for documentation will take place during the course of other police business. As for U.S. citizens, the law does not require them to carry any identification whatsoever. Indeed, the law cannot possibly be applied against U.S. citizens; only an alien can be found guilty under the Arizona statute. (See News Hour clip 3:45 seconds in)

    Myth No. 2: The law will encourage racial profiling.

    Reality: The terms of the act make clear that such profiling cannot occur. Section 2 provides that a law enforcement official "may not solely consider race, color, or national origin" in making any stops or determining an alien's immigration status. In addition, all of the normal Fourth Amendment protections against racial profiling still apply.

    Moreover, the law actually reduces the likelihood of racial profiling by forcing police officers to contact the federal government to verify a person's immigration status when they suspect a person is an illegal alien. It already was permissible for police officers across the country to make arrests for violations of federal immigration law where reasonable suspicion existed that a violation had occurred. Now, in Arizona, officers will have to make a phone call to Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) 24/7 hot line to confirm that any aliens in their custody really are present unlawfully. Officers can no longer proceed based solely on their own assessment of a person's immigration status. In this way, the Arizona law takes any consideration of race out of the equation - strengthening the protections against racial profiling.

    Myth No. 3: The law will require Arizona police officers to stop and question people.

    Reality: Here again, critics of the law are failing to read it carefully. The law only kicks in when a police officer already has made a "lawful contact" with a person, such as stopping him for breaking another law. The most likely contact is during the issuance of a speeding ticket. The law does not require the officer to begin questioning a person about his immigration status or to do anything the officer would not otherwise do.

    Only after a stop is made, and subsequently the officer develops reasonable suspicion on his own that an immigration law has been violated, is any obligation imposed. At that point, the officer is required to call ICE to confirm whether the person is an illegal alien.

    The Arizona law is actually more restrictive than federal law. In Muehler v. Mena (2005), the Supreme Court ruled that officers did not need reasonable suspicion to justify asking a suspect about their immigration status, stating that the court has “held repeatedly that mere police questioning does not constitute a seizure” under the Fourth Amendment).

    Fact Sheet: Arizona's SB1070 Immigration Enforcement Law | NumbersUSA - For Lower Immigration Levels
     
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  2. SFC Ollie
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    SFC Ollie Still Marching

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    They refuse to listen to the truth.
     

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