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Arizona Governor Signs Draconian Immigration Bill Into Law

by @ 4:54 pm on April 23, 2010. Filed under Immigration, Individual Liberty, Politics, Privacy

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has signed into law the most far-reaching immigration law in the country:

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer today signed into law an immigration bill that gives the state toughest law in the nation, making it a state crime to be in the country illegally and requiring local police to enforce federal immigration laws.

The new immigration law will require anyone whom police suspect of being in the country illegally to produce “an alien registration document,” such as a green card, or other proof of citizenship such as a passport or Arizona driver’s license.

It also makes it illegal to impede the flow of traffic by picking up day laborers for work. A day laborer who gets picked up for work, thus impeding traffic, would also be committing a criminal act.

The law goes into effect 90 days after the current legislative session ends, which is expected to be sometime in early May

A summary of relevant provisions:

• Prohibits state, city or county officials from limiting or restricting “the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law” and allows an Arizona resident to sue an official or agency that adopts or implements a policy that does so. The bill contains a “loser pays” provision meant to deter frivolous lawsuits.

• Requires law enforcement to make a reasonable attempt “when practicable” to determine the immigration status of a person if reasonable suspicion exists that the person is in the U.S. illegally. Officers do not have to do so “if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation.”

• Makes it a state crime to be an illegal immigrant by creating a state charge of “willful failure to complete or carry an alien-registration document.”

• Makes it a crime for illegal immigrants to work or solicit work in Arizona.

• Makes it a crime to pick up a day laborer for work if the vehicle impedes traffic and also makes a day laborer subject to criminal charges if he or she is picked up and the vehicle involved impedes traffic.

• Makes it a crime to conceal, harbor or shield an illegal immigrant if the person knows or recklessly disregards the immigrant’s legal status. It does create a legal defense for someone providing emergency, public-safety or public-health services to illegal immigrants.

• Allows law-enforcement officials to arrest a person without a warrant if they have probable cause to believe the person has committed a public offense that makes him or her removable from the U.S.

• Requires employers to keep E-Verify records of employees’ eligibility.

• Reiterates Arizona’s intent to not comply with the Real ID Act of 2005, including the use of a radio-frequency ID chip.

There are plenty of problems with this law, many of which are detailed here, and I think we can expect legal challenges to filed in the very near future.

Without commenting on those challenges, I will merely repeat what I said earlier this week:

The idea of anyone being stopped by police for no reason and being asked to “show their papers” is something that should offend any American, and the fact that it would obviously be applied in a racially biased manner (Does anyone think a white guy is going to be stopped and asked for his papers ? Of course not) should make the law even more objectionable.

Handing power like this to police is a bad idea, especially when it deters them from investigating and preventing real crimes. (And, no, I don’t think the fact that some guy’s gardener might be here illegally is a real crime).

The people of Arizona have given the police power that no American should ever hand over to the state.

I hope they’re happy with themselves.

2 Responses to “Arizona Governor Signs Draconian Immigration Bill Into Law”

  1. [...] list of the provisions in the new bill via Below The Beltway: • Prohibits state, city or county officials from limiting or restricting “the enforcement of [...]

  2. [...] A list of the provisions in the new bill via Below The Beltway: [...]

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