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Advocates vow challenges to Ariz. immigration law

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PHOENIX – Arizona's governor vows the state's tough new law targeting illegal immigration will be implemented with no tolerance for racial profiling, but at least two advocacy groups were preparing legal challenges and Mexico has warned that the law could affect cross-border relations.

Republican Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday signed into law a bill that supporters said would take handcuffs off police in dealing with illegal immigration in Arizona, the nation's busiest gateway for human and drug smuggling from Mexico and home to an estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants. The law requires police to question people about their immigration status — including asking for identification — if they suspect someone is in the country illegally. It's sparked fears among legal immigrants and U.S. citizens that they'll be hassled by police just because they look Hispanic.

With hundreds of protesters outside the state Capitol shouting that the bill would lead to civil rights abuses, Brewer said critics were "overreacting" and that she wouldn't tolerate racial profiling.

"We in Arizona have been more than patient waiting for Washington to act," Brewer said after signing the law. "But decades of inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation."

Earlier Friday, President Barack Obama called the Arizona bill "misguided" and instructed the Justice Department to examine it to see if it's legal. He also said the federal government must enact immigration reform at the national level — or leave the door open to "irresponsibility by others."

"That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona, which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe," Obama said.

Current law in Arizona and most states doesn't require police to ask about the immigration status of those they encounter, and many police departments prohibit officers from inquiring out of fear immigrants won't cooperate in other investigations.

The new law makes it a crime under state law to be in the country illegally. Immigrants unable to produce documents showing they are allowed to be in the U.S. could be arrested, jailed for up to six months and fined $2,500.

It also allows lawsuits against government agencies that hinder enforcement of immigration laws and toughens restrictions on hiring illegal immigrants for day labor and knowingly transporting them.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund said it plans a legal challenge to the law, which it said "launches Arizona into a spiral of pervasive fear, community distrust, increased crime and costly litigation, with nationwide repercussions."

William Sanchez, president of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders Legal Defense Fund, said his group is preparing a federal lawsuit against Arizona to stop the law from being applied. The group represents 30,000 Evangelical churches nationwide, including 300 Latino pastors in Arizona.

"Millions of Latinos around the country are shocked," Sanchez said.

Brewer ordered the state's law enforcement licensing agency to develop a training course on how to implement it without violating civil rights. The bill will take effect in late July or early August, depending on when the current legislative session ends.

"We must enforce the law evenly, and without regard to skin color, accent, or social status," she said. "We must prove the alarmists and the cynics wrong."

Many of the demonstrators at the Capitol complex booed when Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox she announced that "the governor did not listen to our prayers."

"It's going to change our lives," said Emilio Almodovar, a 13-year-old American citizen from Phoenix. "We can't walk to school any more. We can't be in the streets anymore without the pigs thinking we're illegal immigrants."

Mexico warned the proposal could affect cross-border relations, with Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa saying her country would have to "consider whether the cooperation agreements that have been developed with Arizona are viable and useful."

Francisco Loureiro, a pro-migrant activist who runs a migrant shelter in Nogales, Mexico, called the new law "racist" and said it would lead to more police abuse of migrants.

"Police in Arizona already treat migrants worse than animals," he said. "There is already a hunt for migrants and now it will be open season under the cover of a law."

Loureiro said about 250 deported migrants have been arriving at his shelter every night and that most tell him they were detained by police.

On Thursday, Mexico's Senate unanimously passed a resolution urging Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer to veto the law.

__

Associated Press Writers Julie Pace in Washington and Olga R. Rodriguez in Mexico City contributed to this report.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100424/ap_on_re_us/us_immigration_enforcement

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Something has to be done about illegal immigration. Not sure if Arizona's bill is the right way to go, but something has to be done, and not some watered-down pansy lame excuse for action. I have nothing against legal immigrants, and know many wonderful people who are first generation americans. Those who came here illegally need to go home. Perhaps we need to make it easier to become a legal immigrant, I'm not that familiar with that process, but we have to do something about those here illegally.

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Something has to be done about illegal immigration. Not sure if Arizona's bill is the right way to go, but something has to be done, and not some watered-down pansy lame excuse for action. I have nothing against legal immigrants, and know many wonderful people who are first generation americans. Those who came here illegally need to go home. Perhaps we need to make it easier to become a legal immigrant, I'm not that familiar with that process, but we have to do something about those here illegally.

This.

I've been to Arizona fairly regularly since was a kid and I've seen this issue get bigger and bigger every time I'm there, especially in Mesa and Apache Junction... I don't know if the bill is right either but I did discuss it with my dad (ex RCMP) and he said that any good cop would probably use it in a responsible way- like if you've already pulled someone over and they don't have a US Drivers license or reasonable suspicion; just like you would with anything else there has to be probable cause. Just pulling Hispanics aside on the street would constitute harassment and I don't think that was the actual aim of this law.

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I'll also add that just because there is some potential for a few misguided officers to abuse this or any other law doesn't make it bad or not worth pursuing. Any law can be abused, and we as a nation cannot allow that to handcuff us from doing what is necessary. Instead we need to recognize where a law like this could be misused, and be prepared to properly reprimand any officer who does abuse it. We can't continue a policy of doing nothing because someone might get offended.

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I guess I don't understand what the big deal is...I'm Hispanic, but that shouldn't be an issue...the point is that if they are here illegally then something needs to be done. I don't necessarily think that this bill is the best way, but at least it's something...

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This.

I've been to Arizona fairly regularly since was a kid and I've seen this issue get bigger and bigger every time I'm there, especially in Mesa and Apache Junction... I don't know if the bill is right either but I did discuss it with my dad (ex RCMP) and he said that any good cop would probably use it in a responsible way- like if you've already pulled someone over and they don't have a US Drivers license or reasonable suspicion; just like you would with anything else there has to be probable cause. Just pulling Hispanics aside on the street would constitute harassment and I don't think that was the actual aim of this law.

Therein lies the problems w/ a law like this---how do the police question people's status w/o the potential of racial or ethnic profiling? Ask everyone they stop regardless of appearance or accent for 'papers, please'...? It's a sticky situation. I was in Target and Wal-Mart here in central Phoenix last night, heard a lot of people speaking Spanish...what percentage are here legally? No idea.

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If you're legal you have nothing to fear. If you are illegal then you are SOL, which is fine by me.

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Arizona wouldn't have to do this if the Federal government wasn't derelict in its most basic duty to protect the border.

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Kind of hard to protect that much border, sir...

What they need to do is go after the guys who hire illegals. Guy owns a masonry company...take his backhoe, take his truck, take his home when he hires illegals. That will shut it down far quicker than patrolling the border or passing more laws, imho...

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Kind of hard to protect that much border, sir...

What they need to do is go after the guys who hire illegals. Guy owns a masonry company...take his backhoe, take his truck, take his home when he hires illegals. That will shut it down far quicker than patrolling the border or passing more laws, imho...

Can't be as hard as fighting two simultaneous wars halfway around the earth.

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Kind of hard to protect that much border, sir...

What they need to do is go after the guys who hire illegals. Guy owns a masonry company...take his backhoe, take his truck, take his home when he hires illegals. That will shut it down far quicker than patrolling the border or passing more laws, imho...

in your case you're hurting someone trying to make a living, and providing for others trying to earn one.

the laws for immigration need to be reformed, but in lieu of that, it's the federal's responsibility to control the border on a state/country line, there is no enforcement on state/state lines.

if ....say 1/2 of our military wasn't around the world, there would be more than enough to patrol our nation's borders, and probably noone would be getting killed.

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in your case you're hurting someone trying to make a living,

Who could instead hire legal immigrants or citizens....

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No matter what the solution may be, the job isn't getting done. And the responsibility for that lands squarely on the federal doorstep.

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Who could instead hire legal immigrants or citizens....

Bingo!

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Who could instead hire legal immigrants or citizens....

I've wondered about that angle..I think the problem is there isn't enough volume of legal workers willing to work cheap enough for all the low-end jobs the illegals do...here (in AZ) they have them for the day labor jobs, yard work, fast food restaurants, farm labor, etc. I don't think legal citizens are willing to work 10/hr a day for $1/hr or whatever the illegals get paid.

It's a supply and demand thing...employers want an infinite supply of disposable resources to work cheaply and illegals provide that.

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I've wondered about that angle..I think the problem is there isn't enough volume of legal workers willing to work cheap enough for all the low-end jobs the illegals do...here (in AZ) they have them for the day labor jobs, yard work, fast food restaurants, farm labor, etc. I don't think legal citizens are willing to work 10/hr a day for $1/hr or whatever the illegals get paid.

It's a supply and demand thing...employers want an infinite supply of disposable resources to work cheaply and illegals provide that.

Bingo...we don't want to loose the cheap labor.

Same thing happens in the middle east..Saudi's bring in other workers and pay them crap wages, and then bitch about the cheap workers being there.

Just like in Europe lots of Muslims go and work cheaply....people bitch about Muslims in the work force, but no one wants to give up the cheap labor.

Chris

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But {he asks syrupily} if the employers are to ask for papers, wouldn't they be 'racial profiling' ??

Once again, being PC is endangering American citizens. National border security is the jurisdiction of the Fed- not the responsibility of a small business owner. Kudos to AZ for standing up and protecting the rights of it's residents. Hope to hell the other border states follow suit. Like ocn said- if you are legal- you have nothing to worry about. The illegals can go scratch.

BTW- with real unemployment somewhere in the mid-teens, I guarantee you there are plenty of legal citizens more than willing to do whatever jobs they can find.

Unless, of course.... Fed entitlements pay better than actual work and the lazy choose to sit on their asses...

Edited by balthazar

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So what do you want do do, put half a million troops on the border with Mexico?

It's almost impossible to defend against illegals...

Chris

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So what do you want do do, put half a million troops on the border with Mexico?

It's almost impossible to defend against illegals...

Chris

Well, It would be a legitimate use of our armed forces...

Edited by Camino LS6
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>>"So what do you want do do, put half a million troops on the border with Mexico?"<<

I want a dedicated plan to secure it and I want it implemented.

Putting the burden on the small business owner is not the answer nor is it right.

Does the farmer stuff a fox thru the henhouse window nightly, expecting the hens to defend the eggs?

Edited by balthazar

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If you read online overwhelming majority of people is actually supporting this bill, contrary to what politicians are making it out be.

If you are in legally, you have nothing to fear, just show the papers and go do your business.

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>>"So what do you want do do, put half a million troops on the border with Mexico?"<<

I want a dedicated plan to secure it and I want it implemented.

Putting the burden on the small business owner is not the answer nor is it right.

Does the farmer stuff a fox thru the henhouse window nightly, expecting the hens to defend the eggs?

Do you realize what a plan like this would really look like?

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So what do you want do do, put half a million troops on the border with Mexico?

It's almost impossible to defend against illegals...

Chris

It's almost impossible to completely eliminate the problem. It's not difficult at all to do a better job than we do. Just because it's difficult to do something perfectly doesn't mean it shouldn't be done at all.

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the supply/demand view for the work... there certainly is the supply for the work, but obviously there are logistics involved that also prevent alot of people from being able to meet labor demands... immigrants have it much easier logistically.

i do think the wall solution is just stupid. it didn't work for china, why would it work today. we do need immigration reform, maybe as radical as no quota and just have an easy process to make immigration possible... but in this post 9/11 mindset, i don't see productive reform happening.

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