You can find lots of opinion about Arizona’s new immigration law, SB1070. If you would like to form your own opinion, here is the text of the law.
Section 2 of the new law is getting a lot of attention and I’ll look at that today. Subsequently, I’ll look at the impact on employers,as well as the general public, detailed in Sections 5 through 8 of the new bill.
Arizona Statutes, Title 11 is amended with Article 8. Section A of this article states (original text is all caps): “NO OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE MAY ADOPT A POLICY THAT LIMITS OR RESTRICTS THE ENFORCEMENT OF FEDERAL IMMIGRATION LAWS TO LESS THAN THE FULL EXTENT PERMITTED BY FEDERAL LAW.” This section is aimed to prevent any city in Arizona from adopting a “sanctuary city” immigration policy. Phoenix, AZ has adopted such a policy. You can read a short history of sanctuary cities at Wikipedia.
Section B reads (highlights are mine): 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. THE PERSON’S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c).” What is a lawful contact? It is undefined by Arizona state law but it could reasonably be construed to include people suspected of any minor infraction as well as witnesses to a crime or misdemeansor, or any person asking for help from a police officer. What is “reasonable suspicion”? In a 1968 case, Terry v. Ohio, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that suspicion must be based on “specific and articulable facts” and not just a hunch. In New York City at that time, the police had reasonable suspicion to stop and frisk a male with long hair. I was one of many who endured these friskings while walking down the street or about to get on the subway.
Sections C, D, E concern the transfer and transport to federal custody of those who can not prove their immigration or citizenship status. Paragraph F authorizes local and state communications with Federal agencies.
Section G reads in part (highlights are mine): A PERSON MAY BRING AN ACTION IN SUPERIOR COURT TO CHALLENGE ANY OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE THAT ADOPTS OR IMPLEMENTS A POLICY THAT LIMITS OR RESTRICTS THE ENFORCEMENT OF FEDERAL IMMIGRATION LAWS TO LESS THAN THE FULL EXTENT PERMITTED BY FEDERAL LAW. The initial words of this section, “A person”, does not limit challenges to Arizona residents. Anyone anywhere can file a challenge against the state of Arizona, a city or town in the state, and, if successful, the law requires that the state, city or town pay the court and attorney fees of the person bringing the action. (Paragraph G, Subsection 1)
Section I indemnifies police officers from any costs resulting from a judgment.
Tomorrow, I’ll look at how Sections 5 – 8 of this law affect homeowners and small employers in Arizona