Tuesday, December 4, 2007
The N.Y. Times reports that, under pressure from advocates for stricter immigration laws, the mayor of Phoenix said on Monday that he no longer backed a Police Department order barring officers from routinely asking the immigration status of people it arrested and announced a panel to study a policy change. Like the police in several other big cities, including New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Phoenix police have operated under a 20-year-old order barring officers in most cases from asking a person’s immigration status or detaining them for the sole purpose of determining it. The policy is intended to foster greater cooperation with police investigations in communities with large numbers of immigrants.
But the orders have come under fire. Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group based in Washington, has a lawsuit pending against Los Angeles, which enacted its policy in 1979. The group sent a representative to Phoenix last week and said it was preparing litigation against the city.
This could get ugly!