April 30th, 2010
11:10 AM ET
12 years ago

Arizona lawmakers tackle immigration law race concerns

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/30/art.arizonafence.0430.gi.jpg caption=" The Arizona legislature has passed a series of changes to the state's controversial new immigration law, but it is unclear whether Gov. Jan Brewer will sign them into law."](CNN) - The Arizona legislature has passed a series of changes to the state's controversial new immigration law in an attempt to address charges that the measure will lead to racial profiling.

Gov. Jan Brewer, the state's Republican chief executive, has not yet indicated if she will sign the changes into law. If approved, they would take effect along with the rest of the statute 90 days after the close of the current legislative session.

Among other things, lawmakers asserted that prosecutors would not investigate complaints "based on race, color or national origin." The law as currently written states that the Arizona attorney general or a county attorney cannot investigate complaints basely solely on such factors.

Lawmakers also stipulated that police officers would not be able to detain an individual based merely on the suspicion that he or she entered the country illegally. The proposed change to the law states that a "lawful stop, detention or arrest must be in the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of a county, city or town of this state."

Arizona's new law requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there is reason to suspect they are in the United States illegally. The measure makes it a state crime to live in or travel through Arizona illegally.

It also targets those who hire illegal immigrant day laborers or knowingly transport them.

Critics say the measure is unconstitutional and will lead to racial profiling, which is illegal.

Protests against the law are scheduled Saturday in at least 20 states, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces. In all, protests are planned for 39 cities.

Filed under: 2010 • Arizona • Immigration
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    Time to stand your ground, and let foreign countries know that the free ride in the US is over.

    No more will we allow Washington to "overlook" the problem, because they refuse to address it.

    April 30, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. andy

    Gov. Brewer, don't let the libs and illegals bother you. THis was never about race even the Obama admin. is using it for political gain by playing the race card once again.

    April 30, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  3. Tater

    Not too many german ,irish etc are sneaking across the mexican/us border. They are hispanic! This deserves a veto!

    April 30, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. Cosmo

    Why don't they just spell out what the intent of the law is – that the police can, without probable cause, stop and detain anyone who is not an old white guy wearing a cowboy outfit and a shoulder holster.

    April 30, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. Sniffit

    Too bad for AZ that the pre-emption argument is the law's biggest problem, not the public uproar over its racist/xenophobic undercurrents.

    April 30, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. Brenda

    Stay strong Arizona--based on national polls by Rasmussen and Gallup--the majority in the country supports Arizona and your new law.

    And, expect the support for Arizona and its law to go up even more after this weekend-–due to illegals protesting throughout our country again (60 cities). These protests are not going to gain any sympathy for illegals--it is going to sicken/anger US citizens even more.

    The illegals should go back to their own countries and protest there--as the majority in the country are going to stop any/all efforts at amnesty-–just like we did 2 years ago.

    April 30, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  7. Marc

    Well... they are recognizing that that law, as it was wrote, was way too imprecise. If they at least can make the law a bit more accurate (and Constitutional)...

    April 30, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  8. Deborah/KansasCity

    I hope the people of Arizona-all the Tea Party Members-will insist that their Republican members of the US Congress, work in a constructive way for comprehensive reform. They can not have it both ways. They can not continue to say that the Fedral Govt is not doing their job and then allow the Republicans to block any attempt at reform.

    Where are all the people who were screaming about big government and loosing their freedom. They appear to be slient when in really matters. It seems to me that they must be ok letting "Big State Governments" take away our liberty and spend big time on this law, as long as, it is White Republicas doing it.

    April 30, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  9. Andy

    This is better. I hope the change passes to remove the huge slippery slope the origianl law created.

    April 30, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. JIM El Paso Tx

    It's funny an sad to listen to the bleeding heart people concerning the poor poor immigrants. Now...today there are million of "green card" holders who when coming through a port of entry LEGALLY show their ID for passage. I show my ID when stopped for a traffic infraction...hell to even cash a check, yet these whiners think it would be a terrible thing to have these LAW BREAKERS ante up some form of identification. As for the racial profiling bit....lets face it.... we're NOT being unindated by ILLEGAL Chinese, Somalies, Canadians or any other ethnic group like we are the "latinos" from south of the border and as such there will be no doubt some "legal" residents who might be stopped and asked for their ID. So what! Rather a few be bothered than many having to pay for these ILLEGALS who are swamping our hospitals, schools, etc. And I don't buy the argument that they do work nobody else would. If companies didn't have to pay these low wages "our" people would work. A benefit of a legal workforce.

    April 30, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. chill

    Maybe they can have immigrants wear gold stars on their shirts. Just what does constitute probable cause that someone is an illegal alien, with the focus on the illegal part?

    April 30, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  12. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Those amendments sound reasonable, but I don't think the governor will sign off on it. If she had a clue, she will. Her state is about to get hit with an onslaught of lawsuits. Not to mention that while the governor his trying to fix the state's economy issues, her racist bill is actually hurting it. The state is being boycotted. The Arizona Diamond Backs have been boycotted. Schools have already cancelled field trips to the state. Gov. Brewer's law is hurting Arizona's economy even more when it is already fragile.

    April 30, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  13. Honest Abe

    I'm hispanic and i'm for Arizona's law. something has to be done. I live in california (and boy has socal gotten bad with illegals), i stopped taking my family to AZ (sedona,phoenix, flagstaff) b/c of the overflow of illegals (hotels can be especially dangerous) for the past 5 years or so. Hopefully this law will clean things up there and we can return again. i dont see what the middle class benefit is to continue to allow people to cross with no consequences.

    April 30, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The proposed change to the law states that a "lawful stop, detention or arrest must be in the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of a county, city or town of this state."

    Okay, I can get behind this change. I'm a little leery about the "county ordinance" part, though. Some of these small town counties have some frankly weird ordinances in place that a modern-day person wouldn't even begin to assume were on the books. Beyond that, and barring an "over-eager" policeman looking to make his 'quota' for the month, the proposed change to the law should help.

    April 30, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  15. Dano

    I'm sure these changes will make legal immigrants from Canada and Europe breath much easier knowing they won't be singled out due to their light skin color or funny accents.

    April 30, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  16. IndependentAmerican

    I hope the citizens of AZ are willing to spend their hard earned tax dollars on lawsuits and the courts when people who are profiled sue AZ.

    I hope the citizens of AZ are okay with losing millions if not billions of tourist dollars.

    Supporters of SR 1070, are lying telling the nation that AZ is "under siege" when the FACT is that according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (keeps track of crime) date shows that ..... violent crime........ is DOWN in AZ!

    April 30, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. Molly Weasley

    This is supposed to clarify things? How else would police in Arizona identify illegal immigrants? That's why this "show me your papers" law is so bad. We even had one Republican congressman say police could identify them by their shoes.

    If I were in Arizona and they asked for my "papers," I would give them a copy of the U.S. Constitution.

    Maybe the Rethugs in Congress will start doing their jobs and work on some immigration reforms instead of being the Party of No Ideas. Nah - won't happen.

    April 30, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    There is no racial issues this is something thought up by Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson to use as a weapon .

    April 30, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  19. Anthony Beasley

    So basically, police are back to doing exactly what they would do before this stupid law was ever written! People are so naive! No person shall be stopped or detained without such probable cause by action or actions from a violation of a simple infraction or major felony action by an officer. If people actually took the time to understand what the constitution says about illegal search and seizure, this wouldn't even be a point. The police must have probable cause to even interact with ANY persons before being subjected to detainment or arrest!

    April 30, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Gov. the damage has been done already. See if you or any of your racist republicans get any latino votes, not only in AZ but throughout the USA,

    April 30, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  21. jd

    The Mexican border was listed as the #2 national security threat by this administration and the last. The border states have been abandoned by the rest of the country so we can be politically convenient. Arizona needs our support to make a better law. Not the convenient condemnation responses we are seeing.

    April 30, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  22. Peter

    And what if you're a citizen? Can you prove you're not an immigrant and hence you don't have to carry documentation? Will the police care about the difference or will they jail you for not having documentation proving you're a citizen? This is just the first step in the government issuing national IDs and requiring all law-abiding citizens to carry them all the time!

    April 30, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |