Arizona passes strict illegal immigration act
The bill mandates that police determine people's immigration status if there is a 'reasonable suspicion' they are undocumented. Immigrant rights groups say it amounts to a police state.
By Nicholas Riccardi
April 13, 2010 2:49 p.m.
Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Denver
Arizona lawmakers on Tuesday approved what foes and supporters agree is the toughest measure in the country against undocumented immigrants, making it a crime to be an illegal immigrant in Arizona and allowing local police to determine whether people are in the country legally.
The measure, long sought by opponents of illegal immigration, passed in the state House of Representatives. The state Senate passed a similar measure earlier this year, and Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, who has not spoken publicly about the issue, is expected to sign the bill.
The bill's author, State Sen. Russell Pearce, said the law simply "takes the handcuffs off of law enforcement and lets them do their job."
But police were deeply divided on the matter, with police unions backing it but the state police chief's association opposed the bill, contending it could erode trust with immigrants who could be potential witnesses...link to complete article