Two days ago, I reviewed the recent Arizona immigration bill. Regardless of your opinion of the intent of the bill, it was a flawed legislative effort.
Yesterday, the Arizona House passed HB2162 to correct some of problems in the Senate bill 1070. The text of 2162 can be found here. “Lawful contact” is replaced with “lawful stop, detention or arrest“. “reasonable suspicion” is now preceded with “in the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of a county, city or town or this state where reasonable suspicion exists.”
When Colorado considered passing a seat belt law making it a primary offense not to wear a seat belt, there was a furor among the residents at the prospect that police officers might be stopping drivers because they couldn’t see whether a driver had a seat belt on. The law was changed so that drivers could be ticketed for not wearing seat belts but only when they were stopped for some other violation.
Although a traffic offense and an immigration law are not comparable, the principle is the same – that the primary offense cannot be that a police officer thinks you “could be” breaking the law.
A law enforcement official “may not solely consider race, color or national origin” has been changed to “may not consider race, color or national origin” by removing “solely”, a blatant gaffe in the original text.
There are many other changes which indicate the lack of review, research and foresight in the crafting of the original text.