Thursday, April 22, 2010
As my fellow blogger, Dean Kevin Johnson, has noted, the anti-immigrant legislation at Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's desk is best dubbed the Latino Racial Profiling Act of 2010. She should veto the law, as recommended by law enforcement officals across the nation.
Randal Archibold writes for the NY Times:
A bill the Arizona Legislature passed this week that would hand the state and local police broad powers to enforce immigration law has split police groups and sown confusion over how the law would be applied.
While Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, has yet to say whether she will sign the bill into law, on Wednesday a national police group condemned it as likely to lead to racial and ethnic profiling and to threaten public safety if immigrants did not report crime or did not cooperate with the authorities out of fear of being deported.
The police group joined a growing list of organizations and religious and political leaders far from the state’s borders urging Ms. Brewer to veto the bill. Her spokesman said that of the 15,011 calls and letters her office had received on the bill, more than 85 percent opposed it.
The law would require the police “when practicable” to detain people they reasonably suspected were in the country without authorization. It would also allow the police to charge immigrants with a state crime for not carrying immigration documents. And it allows residents to sue cities if they believe the law is not being enforced.
Members of the Law Enforcement Engagement Initiative, a group of police leaders pressing for a federal overhaul of immigration law, said they worried that other states would copy Arizona, despite the likelihood that the law will be challenged in federal court.
“Just because it is in Arizona doesn’t mean it’s likely to remain there,” said George Gascón, the chief of the San Francisco Police Department and a former chief in Mesa, a Phoenix suburb. “We are very concerned about what could happen to public safety.”
The Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police and several sheriffs have also come out against the bill, calling it burdensome and an intrusion into a federal matter. Click here for the rest of the story.