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The Arizona state legislature just approved the toughest anti-immigrant bill in the country, giving police the authority to determine people’s immigration status based on “reasonable suspicion” or, more bluntly put, the right to racially profile immigrants.
Written by State Sen. Russell Pearce, SB1070 also makes it a crime to be an undocumented immigrant and allows anyone to sue a local, county or state agency if they believe the agency is not enforcing immigration laws. If signed by Governor Jan Brewer into law, get ready for rampant racial profiling and arrests of more United States citizens who cannot prove their right to live here.
The law also promises to have a chilling affect on the economy, with unjustifiable raids on businesses and immigrants fleeing the state as a consequence of attrition through enforcement. One just needs to take a look at Prince Williams County to note the general devastation that occurs as a result of local law enforcement of immigration laws.
Why are advocates crying “police state?” SB 1070 allows for any political subdivision or agency of the state to exchange data of any person for any license with the US Department of Homeland Security. Say goodbye to your civil liberties as a resident of Arizona.
Not surprisingly, even local law enforcement came out against the bill, saying it creates divisions within the community and makes it tougher for them to do their job of fighting real crimes.
Out of hatred for immigrants, Arizona is clearly shooting itself in the foot. But all is not lost yet. Don’t waste any time. Take action now and ask Governor Jan Brewer to veto the bill.
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