The controversial immigration law that passed last month in Arizona was revised earlier this month by the state of Arizona and is available for public inspection online. The revised version tries to avoid anyone in Arizona from blocking the enforcement of federal immigration laws and also puts in place language to avoid racial profiling.
“No official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state may adopt a policy that limits or restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law,” according to the revision.
The law requires that Arizona law enforcement determine if a person is in the country legally, which many say the law leaves open the door to racial profiling of Mexicans and others in Arizona. Protests have been held in Arizona, California, and New York.
The new version stipulates that the determination of a person’s status in the country only comes after a person in Arizona is determined to be breaking the law.
“For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person,” reads the revised version.
The key here is that the contact needs to be “lawful,” the previous version used the more ambiguous term “legitimate.” Stopping someone for being Mexican would be racial profiling and illegal for any law enforcement to engage in.
“The fact of the matter is that [the law] prohibits racial profiling; its illegal in the state of Arizona. And racial profiling is illegal in the United States,” said Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer in an interview on Fox News on Thursday.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer passed Senate Bill 1070 after a long battle with border crime. A letter sent by John McCain to the White House for assistance with ongoing border troubles echoed sentiments from all parties, including President Obama, that the federal government has failed to take action on securing the border and reforming immigration laws.
McCain requested the deployment of 3,000 National Guardsmen to the Arizona/Mexico border. No decision has been made by the White House.
A rancher was shot and killed in March by an illegal immigrant in Arizona putting the spotlight on the unruly nature of some illegal immigrants coming in from Mexico. Drug wars and prostitutions rings have also been running rampant in Mexico, with almost no interference from local authorities who are sometimes heavily influenced by the drug cartels.
“Its not just the citizens of Mexico who fear for their safety,” writes McCain. “The violence has crossed the border and escalated.”
The Arizona government website has posted a copy of the revised bill online for public viewing at www.azleg.gov.