Reaction to the new Arizona immigration law

Arizona’s Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed a law yesterday that makes it “a state crime to be in the country illegally” and “requires local law enforcement to determine an individual’s immigration status if an officer suspects that person is in the country illegally.” Civil rights groups are already preparing federal lawsuits, and President Barack Obama called the bill “misguided”, adding, “I’ve instructed members of my admininstration to closely monitor the situation and examine the civil rights and other implications of this legislation.”

The American Civil Liberties Union explained why we should be outraged about this law:

The law creates new immigration crimes and penalties inconsistent with those in federal law, asserts sweeping authority to detain and transport persons suspected of violating civil immigration laws and prohibits speech and other expressive activity by persons seeking work. The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Arizona strongly condemn the governor’s decision to sign the unconstitutional law and are dismayed by her disregard for the serious damage it could cause to civil liberties and public safety in the state.[…]

The new law, which will not go into effect for more than 90 days, requires police agencies across Arizona to investigate the immigration status of every person they come across whom they have “reasonable suspicion” to believe is in the country unlawfully. To avoid arrest, citizens and immigrants will effectively have to carry their “papers” at all times. The law also makes it a state crime for immigrants to willfully fail to register with the Department of Homeland Security and carry registration documents. It further curtails the free speech rights of day laborers and encourages unchecked information sharing between government agencies.

Naturally, conservatives who claim to be for small government love the expansion of police powers in Arizona.

Representative Raul Grijalva, one of the leaders of the House Progressive Caucus, closed his Arizona offices yesterday following threatening phone calls. Grijalva also “called on businesses and groups looking for convention and meeting locations to boycott Arizona.” Already yesterday the American Immigration Lawyers Association canceled plans to hold the group’s fall national convention in Scottsdale. A petition has been created to urge California’s state pension fund to “divest from all Arizona companies” and sell all Arizona real estate.

The law may never be enforced, depending on what happens with the federal lawsuits, but some people are predicting it will boost support for Democrats among Latino voters.

Share any relevant thoughts in this thread. For comic relief, I recommend reading the official statement from Arizona Hispanic Republicans. After criticizing the (Republican) state legislators who spearheaded the bill and the (Republican) governor who signed the bill, they say they are “ultimately holding President Obama accountable,” because “Obama promised Hispanics that he would pass immigration reform within 90 days of his Presidency.  Had Obama carried out his promises to Hispanics last year, the Hispanic community would not be experiencing the crisis we are experiencing right now.” That’s quite a creative way to misdirect blame.

About the Author(s)


  • Outrage!

    I grew up in Colorado.  Pueblo Colorado is 68% Hispanic native born spanish speaking people.  They still speak Spanish amongst themselves.  This law reminds me of Germany, 1935.  With this law,  no longer will America be a place where we are able to freely move about the country, people will have to carry “papers” (what papers?  A birth certificate?  It can’t be a drivers license,  because even the illegals have a driver’s license).People who legally have these papers will risk having them stolen whenever they leave the house.  So what happens if you forget your “papers?”  They take you to the court house, and you have to PROVE your citizenship.  Teenage boys out driving around?  The Gestapo, excuse me,  the Police will have a hayday.  

    I am German/Irish with a little bit of Native American thrown in (but not enough for mocassins).  So I have no problem with this personally.  But if one is brown….”papers, please.”  Late for work, it happened again.  

    I realize Arizona is having a terrible time with hundreds of thousands of illegals living there.  What is wrong with fining and convicting large corporations that hire illegals?  If they can’t find a job, they will go home.  Increase the penalties for hiring illegals.  Swift turkey in MN regularly has about half their employees being illegal.  The INS comes in and everybody runs.  The INS takes the workers and deports them.  However,  they are leaving in MN wives and children that have no money, rent is due, and cannot get any help.  Yet Swift regularly pays these workers 6.00 an hour,  won’t explain to Spanish speaking people about workman’s comp, taxes, etc.  If you get hurt working for Swift, they just send you home.  No workman’s comp.  They just hire another one.  

    I think our immigration reform should include passes timed for harvests in the south west states,  because its awful tough finding Americans that want to pick tomatoes and peppers.  Then they go home.  fine the corporations, convict the people hiring them.  

    I believe this law is making all brown people second class citizens.  Just put a six pointed star on their shoulder.  These people are illegal, I know.  But they are committing a crime because they came to this country to make a better life for their families.  These people are not the drug cartels shooting people on both sides of the border,  they are just trying to take care of their families.  AZ legislators are trying to make it look like every illegal alien is a criminal, dangerous and “causing accidents on the highway”.  This is an outrage.