Free Markets, Free People

Arizona makes some changes to its controversial immigration law

Byron York reports that the Arizona Legislature and the Governor have made a few “tweaks” to address some of the fears of critics and more specifically define the law.

The first concerns the phrase “lawful contact,” which is contained in this controversial portion of the bill: “For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency…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…”  Although drafters of the law said the intent of “lawful contact” was to specify situations in which police have stopped someone because he or she was suspected of violating some other law — like a traffic stop — critics said it would allow cops to pick anyone out of a crowd and “demand their papers.”

So now, in response to those critics, lawmakers have removed “lawful contact” from the bill and replaced it with “lawful stop, detention or arrest.” In an explanatory note, lawmakers added that the change “stipulates that a lawful stop, detention or arrest must be in the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of a county, city or town or this state.”

The law now stipulates specifically that unless the officer is first involved in a “lawful stop, detention or arrest” that officer cannot just demand papers based on a suspicion the person is there illegally.

The second change concerns the word “solely.”  In a safeguard against racial profiling, the law contained the phrase, “The attorney general or county attorney shall not investigate complaints that are based solely on race, color or national origin.”  Critics objected to that, too, arguing again that it would not prevent but instead lead to racial profiling.  So lawmakers have taken out the word “solely.”

Whether it will satisfy the critics is, frankly, doubtful.  It has been “politicized” now and that means that those who oppose it will most likely ignore, minimize or mischaracterize the changes in an effort to keep the issue alive.  There’s a whole movement at stake here and the race warlords are most likely unwilling to give it up this easily.  Additionally, those who want to see some sort of immigration reform law pushed through see this as giving the issue renewed visibility.  They’re unlikely to let that go, even if the law is indeed more satisfactory in terms of protecting civil rights than in its previous iteration.

~McQ

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6 Responses to Arizona makes some changes to its controversial immigration law

  • The law is designed to protect the citizen of Arizona as well as the undocumented immigrants. If an illegal reports a crime or requests police help they will not be prosecuted under this law.

  • I think this was a good move on the part of AZ.  What say you Dale?

  • The law now stipulates specifically that unless the officer is first involved in a “lawful stop, detention or arrest” that officer cannot just demand papers based on a suspicion the person is there illegally.

    >>>> 1) Too late to stop the firestorm
                 2) Maybe next time, this sort of thing can be worked out prior to signing the bill, m’kay? I’m real tired of people passing laws they don’t read or understand

  • Shark. . in this case it was other people intentionally misunderstanding what the bill obviously and blatantly said, as opposed to the healthcare bill, where that was the actual intent of the legislative language:  TO obfuscate what was intended AND where the people literally did not read it and kept saying “Oh my!  I didn’t know THAT was in there.”

    Trying to draw equivalence is extremely disingenuous.
     

  • When Shakira stated “that I am pretty much undocumented” is absolutely ridiculous. She came to our country with documents. When entering into the United States legitimately you must show your passport, which Shakira certainly did. By challenging Arpaio to come and get her because she left her passport at her 5 star hotel clearly indicates Shakira does not understand the Arizona Senate Bill 1070. By Shakria not carrying her passport or identification does not mean she will be arrested. One must engage in illegal activity to be arrested and asked for identification, which most likely Shakira will not be engaging in illegal activity. For someone to rally other individuals without fully understanding the SB 1070 is irresponsible. People (including Shakira) need to take the time to fully understand the law before grand standing to an audience who expects her to be informed. Shakira should respect the United State’s freedom of speech and should be fully educated on the law before leading an emotional charged crowd. This law is not new, it is enforcing what is already in place by the Federal Government. It is a Federal crime to be an illegal alien thus the term “illegal alien.” Crime has become an increasing problem in Arizona. The law is designed to punish criminals for being criminals not for being illegal immigrants. Which all members of our community should embrace. If the Federal Government would take illegal immigration seriously there could be alternatives for this law. But the Federal Government ignored Arizona’s immigration problem and decided they could not rely on the Federal Government for help. Arizona’s actions are directed against the members of the immigrant community that are criminals. Anyone, citizen or non-citizen, should agree that the increased violence around our boarders needs to be addressed. Immigrants and citizens need to work together to reduce crime. Shame on you Shakria for further inflaming a passionate subject that should be addressed rationally. Shame on you everyone else for not educating yourself on the SB 1070. For those of you that want to be educated you can read the full law here

  • I just read the best reaction to the immigration law ever on CNN. Awesome! “OK… so a cop’s title is “Law Enforcement Officer”… in order to be an “Illegal Immigrant” you have to be breaking the law of the United States of America… why would we not expect our “Law Enforcement Officers” to enforce the law of the United States of America? This is not a racist statement, this is not an anti-immigrant statement, I’m not a tea-partier, Im a slightly left of center gay American whose partner of 8 years is a Canadian. My partner goes through a massive ordeal in order to stay in this country legally, which he does… Im not able to sponsor him for permanent residence, and there is no legal pathway for him to gain permanent residence… so for now we live with renewing his temporary status based on his job and NAFTA, hoping for either an employer willing to sponsor him for permanent residence (a 5 year long, very expensive process) or the repeal/invalidation of DOMA, or the passage of the UAFA bill. He has to prove his legality in this country quite often, and is required to have his passport with proof of his legality on him at all times… I am more a victim of discrimination, as a US Citizen who cannot sponsor my permanent partner for US residence, than these illegal aliens who are breaking the law of the united states”