[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Well, no one can say they were surprised by this:
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday signed into law a new state immigration bill that President Barack Obama called "misguided" hours earlier.You can read the bill here [PDF file].
Brewer, saying that the state had been "more than patient waiting for Washington to act" on the issue of illegal immigration, said that the bill would protect Arizona citizens without violating individuals' constitutional rights.
The sweeping legislation makes it a crime under state law to be in the country illegally. It also requires local police officers to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegally.
As Media Matters Action Network explains:
If Arizona Governor Brewer signs the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhood Act, police will be authorized to demand residency paperwork from anyone they suspect to be in the state illegally, even if that suspicion is based on the color of their skin and nothing else.Yup, sounds like a police state to me. Just the kinda place where I wanna go spend my vacation, eh?
The Bill Makes It A Crime To Be In Arizona Without Proper Paperwork
AZ Bill "Requires Police" To Determine A "Person's Immigration Status." The Los Angeles Times reported that the newly passed Arizona immigration "bill, known as SB 1070, makes it a misdemeanor to lack proper immigration paperwork in Arizona. It also requires police officers, if they form a 'reasonable suspicion' that someone is an illegal immigrant, to determine the person's immigration status." The legislation passed 35 to 21. [Los Angeles Times, 4/14/10, emphasis added]
Those "Unable To Produce Documents Showing They Are Allowed To Be In The United States Could Be Arrested, Jailed For Up To Six Months And Fined $2,500." According to the Seattle Times, under the Arizona immigration bill "the police would be authorized to arrest immigrants unable to show documents allowing them to be in the country and the legislation would leave drivers open to sanctions, in some cases for knowingly transporting an illegal immigrant, even a relative. Immigrants unable to produce documents showing they are allowed to be in the United States could be arrested, jailed for up to six months and fined $2,500. Currently, officers can inquire about someone's immigration status only if the person is a suspect in another crime. The bill would allow officers to avoid the immigration issue if it would be impractical or hinder another investigation." [Seattle Times, 4/14/10, emphasis added]