Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a state bill Friday that requires police to determine whether a person is in the United States legally, which critics say will foster racial profiling and discrimination but supporters say will crack down on illegal immigration.
The Republican governor also issued an executive order that would require additional training for local officers on how to implement the law without engaging in racial profiling.
“This training will include what does and does not constitute reasonable suspicion that a person is not legally present in the United States,” Brewer said after signing the bill.
Previously, officers could check someone’s immigration status only if that person was suspected in another crime.
Read the law here: SB1070 (PDF) via azleg.gov.
Reactions are mixed, of course, and I expect there’s already a legal challenge being filed as I write this. Some fights between protesters and supporters (some calling it a riot) but the police and crowds seem to have kept themselves civil for the most part. Disagreement is to be expected on such a hot button issue, but fighting in such a manner is unacceptable.
Sadly the issue of illegal immigration would have not come to this point if the federal government and it’s agencies had done their jobs of protecting the border and bringing genuine reform to immigration and immigrant worker laws. How can there be any discussion of controlling illegal immigration and reforming current immigration laws when it can not even be discussed without accusations, fiery rhetoric, and smearing one another? In the end America’s failure to address immigration and the willful refusal to enforce the existing laws that has brought Arizona and the nation to this state of affairs. It is clear sign of the failure of our nation’s people and leadership to work together for the best interests of the entire country.
The question now: what are we going to about it? Ignore it through useless pillorying of differing views or actually put aside selfishness and special interests to solve the underlying problem?