What Does the Arizona Immigration Law Actually Say?
Brewer, Jan, The New American
Arizona's new immigration law, officially styled the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (Senate Bill 1070), has not even gone into effect yet; it is scheduled to do so 90 days after Gov. Jan Brewer's April 23 signing of the bill. Yet SB 1070 has already received mega publicity from the media, has become highly controversial, and has been the target of nationwide demonstrations, many of them held on May Day.
With all the commentary and controversy, one would think that the substance of SB 1070 would at least be understood. But if the flawed descriptions of the bill appearing in the media are any guide, that apparently is not the case.
SB 1070 does not require Arizona law-enforcement officers to stop and question and demand to see the papers of anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant. It instead requires officers to question those they suspect of being illegal immigrants during lawful stops. The pertinent part of the law states: "For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state 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, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation. …