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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Needed Change

Arizona Senate Committee Approves Bill to Allow Local Immigration Enforcement

A bill passed by the Arizona Senate Committee on Public Safety and Human Services would expand the immigration enforcement efforts of local police. The bill would allow police to arrest suspected illegal aliens and crackdown on the employers that hire them.

The bill (SB 1070) is offered by Sen. Mike Pearse of Mesa, Ariz. and is designed to help target sanctuary cities. Specific provisions within the bill include:

  • allowing police to stop and actually arrest anyone they just reasonably believe is in this country illegally,
  • paving the way for law enforcement to conduct 'sting' operations to find companies knowingly hiring undocumented workers,
  • making it a crime to stop a vehicle on the street to pick up someone to do a 'day labor' job,
  • requiring police to make a 'reasonable attempt' to determine the immigration status of anyone they contact officially if there is 'reasonable suspicion' they are an illegal immigrant, and
  • permitting anyone to sue a city, county or any government that has policies which limit immigration enforcement by their employees 'to less than the full extent permitted by law.'

The bill has the support of Mark Spencer, president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association. Pearse said that the bill simply allows local police officers to use their 'inherent authority' to enforce federal immigration laws.

For more information, see the Arizona Daily Star.

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