The State of Arizona and its History with Immigration Reform

The Arizona immigration law goes into effect on July 29, 2010, when it will become a state crime to be in the country illegally. The new law gives law enforcement officials the authority to approach any person they feel may be an illegal alien. This same law was voted on in 2006 and denied.

The law relies on local law enforcement officials, as they will be the ones who have to enforce it. With a tight economy, and limited resources and staff, this new law will add more paperwork for the processing of people who are both legal and illegal.

Mexican descendants decrying SB 1070 in ArizonaArizona and Proposed Immigration Laws Result in Boycotting

Arizona’s proposed new immigration law has been controversial because of the fear the bill will harm legal citizens, and people are boycotting the state in protest. This is often the only avenue the common citizen has to the political issue they themselves cannot vote for, or if they voted against.

The same situation occurred in 1990 when Arizona was not going to acknowledge the Martin Luther King holiday. It ultimately cost the state 300 million dollars in lost revenue from conventions being canceled including the Super Bowl.

What Makes a Person an Illegal Alien According to Immigration Laws

Every single person in the US, besides Native Americans, is a result of immigration, whether directly moving here or later raising a family and then those members raising their own families. But there is a right way and a wrong way to become a citizen, and this is the issue at hand.

Arizona has estimated there are over 460,000 illegals in their state; no information is given on how they derived this number. However, the INS uses US census data to make many of their estimates.

People who come to the United States on a work visa that is not renewed are considered illegal aliens. However, they may have a driver’s license or state ID, and so this is also why the new law will inconvenience many people who do not walk around with their social security cards and birth certificates. Just a driver’s license is not proof of citizenship.

Mexicans make up about half of the immigration to the US every year, but there are also 14 other countries including China, Guatemala, Haiti, Canada, and Korea from which people illegally emigrate. These potential citizens live in cities all over the country, and immigrate here illegally as stowaways, people denied Green Cards, or from expired visas.

Arizona may wind up being successful in scaring away any illegals from crossing their borders. Perhaps they will cross boundaries in other states instead. Citizens of the state will have to prepare by carrying their papers with them wherever they go, so they are not unnecessarily detained. Arizona will have to spend thought and consideration on the details of the law, so it does not pose a problem for any visitor or citizen with a tan, darker skin, and dark hair.

Arizona and Racial Profiling for Immigration

The Arizona governor stated she believes the law “is constitutional” and “has protections against racial profiling,” though she did not mention what the protections are for legal citizens, which is the primary concern for those in opposition to the law.

In 1997 Chandler police arrest 340 people they believed to be illegal immigrants. Due to the fact, not all arrested were unlawful; they spent $500,000 in damages and years apologizing.

Phoenix police have arrested 63 people in the first few weeks of June 2010 for suspicion of being illegal when they could not produce their papers at the time. Out of this none were fully processed as actually being illegal.

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