Arizona Passes SB1070 Immigration Bill To Curb Illegal Immigrants
The SB1070 bill, deemed the toughest immigration legislature in the country, has been passed by the Arizona House of Representatives on Tuesday. The bill, which can change the way of life for thousands of illegal immigrants living in Arizona, was voted 35:21.
The new SB1070 Arizona immigration bill lets the state police perform checks on a "reasonable suspicion" that a person might be an illegal immigrant and make arrests for not carrying ID papers. Previously, police could not stop and check identification papers on a mere suspicion that someone might be an illegal immigrant. Police could only ask about an individual's immigration status if they are suspected of involvement in another crime.
It is now feared that the new bill will be used as a leeway for racial profiling, especially for the numerous Latino immigrants living in the state.
The passing of the SB1070 bill comes in the wake of the murder of local rancher Robert Krentz. It is alleged Krentz, 58, was killed after a confrontation with illegal immigrants in a potential case of drug carter scout, theft or retaliation.
In a press release posted on the website of Arizona State Legislature, the Arizona lawmakers called the new bill a new way to "protect churches, community organizations and civil rights."
“[The bill] gives our local police officers the tools they need to combat illegal immigration, while protecting the civil rights of citizens and legal residents.”
The pro-immigration opponents of the new immigration bill protested the legislature and called the new law unconstitutional. The groups fear that the bill will make Arizona a "police state" and further strain relations between police and the immigrant community.
Arizona's Republican Governor Jan Brewer will have to sign the bill into law. Already, there is a petition online urging Arizonians to speak out against the bill and convince Governor Brewer to boycott the legislature.