Phoenix, AZ – The legislation requires police to check the immigration status
of those they contact and lets them charge illegal immigrants
with violating state law. Attorney and state Rep. Ben Miranda
said one problem with the measure is that immigration is strictly
the purview of the federal government. The other is the
possibility of racial profiling by officers who are told to check
identification when they have reasonable suspicion someone is in
this country illegally.
(Reasonable suspicion is a standard that lends itself to a
personal interpretation on the part of an officer on the scene.)
A separate lawsuit was filed by a Tucson police officer who said
the law violates constitutional rights and could hinder
investigation. And a third challenge is being planned by the
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and other
groups who also say it will lead to racial profiling. That
includes Dolores Huerta who co-founded the United Farm Workers
Union with Cesar Chavez. She said the lawsuit is just one step.
(This policy of hatred against Latinos and against immigrants
cannot continue. We are going to be out there knocking on
people's doors, educating them and asking them to participate, to
come and register to vote. And we will make sure we get people
elected that are really going to stand up for the human rights of
For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.