The new Arizona law outlined
In a posting which is sympathetic to the new Arizona law pertaining to illegal aliens, the Center for Immigration Studies describes key provisions of the law, and essentially summarizes the rationale for the law – which is both the high number of illegal immigrants (a number which has recently declined) and reports that illegal immigrants are proportionately more likely to commit crimes, including violent crimes. Go to the report itself here, as it includes links to supporting documentation.
The CIS study summaries the key legal provisions as follows:
Among the new law’s provisions:
* The new Arizona law mirrors federal law, which already requires aliens (non-citizens) to register and carry their documents with them (8 USC 1304(e) and 8 USC 1306(a)). The new Arizona law simply states that violating federal immigration law is now a state crime as well. Because illegal immigrants are by definition in violation of federal immigration laws, they can now be arrested by local law enforcement in Arizona.
* The law is designed to avoid the legal pitfall of “pre-emption,” which means a state can’t adopt laws that conflict with federal laws. By making what is a federal violation also a state violation, the Arizona law avoids this problem.
* The law only allows police to ask about immigration status in the normal course of “lawful contact” with a person, such as a traffic stop or if they have committed a crime.
* Estimates from the federal government indicate that more than 80 percent of illegal immigrants come from Latin America.12 Thus, there is concern that police may target only Hispanics for enforcement.
* Before asking a person about immigration status, law enforcement officials are required by the law to have “reasonable suspicion” that a person is an illegal immigrant. The concept of “reasonable suspicion” is well established by court rulings. Since Arizona does not issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, having a valid license creates a presumption of legal status. Examples of reasonable suspicion include:
o A driver stopped for a traffic violation has no license, or record of a driver's license or other form of federal or state identification.
o A police officer observes someone buying fraudulent identity documents or crossing the border illegally.
o A police officer recognizes a gang member back on the street who he knows has been previously deported by the federal government.
* The law specifically states that police, “may not solely consider race, color or national origin” when implementing SB 1070.
* When Arizona’s governor signed the new law, she also issued an executive order requiring the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board to provide local police with additional training on what does and what does not constitute “reasonable suspicion.”