Arizona Passes Tough New Illegal Immigration Law
April 14, 2010
(ChattahBox) – The state legislature of Arizona, has passed the toughest immigration law in the country on Tuesday. The new measure, makes it a misdemeanor to lack immigration paperwork and compels police officers to determine immigration status if they form a “reasonable suspicion” that a person is in the U.S. illegally. Until now, police officers can only investigate immigration status if the person is a criminal suspect.
The bill is sponsored by Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, who is one of Arizona’s loudest voices opposing illegal immigration. Pearce’s bill also tries to crack down on employment opportunities for illegal immigrants by prohibiting people from blocking traffic when they seek or offer day-labor services on street corners. House Republicans advanced the measure on a 35-21 party-line vote. The Senate approved the bill in February but must concur to changes made in the House before sending it to Gov. Jan Brewer. Republican Gov. Jan Brewer is expected to sign the bill, although not everyone’s on board. Police are split on the matter, with unions backing the measure but the state police chief’s association opposing it on the grounds that it could damage the relationship between police and immigrants who are potential witnesses. The ACLU has also said it plans to sue to block the bill should Gov. Brewer sign it.