Saturday, July 31, 2010

Struggle with Immigration Law

Recently Arizona’s controversial immigration law took effect on Thursday, July 29th. Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio launched his 17th sweep against illegal immigrants and in response eighty demonstrators began protesting and were arrested.

The protesters against the tough-on-illegal-immigration policies trickled out of jails in Arizona the next day as a local sheriff continued one of his controversial operations that many say targets Latinos. Three illegal immigrants were reportedly arrested in the sweep.

Law enforcement officers are currently allowed to stop people who commit minor traffic violations and check their citizenship status. The controversy from this law stems from the obvious racial profiling that is enacted in order to be able to stop people in the streets to see if they are illegal immigrants.

And although a federal judge had barred most of the immigration law, SB 1070, from being implemented, that didn't stop hundreds of protesters from filling the streets and engaging in civil disobedience. Twenty-three were arrested at Arpaio's main downtown jail for blocking the entrance and their demonstration forced the sheriff to delay his sweep for several hours.

The current law requires the police to check only people they stop and believe are illegal immigrants. But it’s hard to tell if Arizona law enforcement officers will be able to discern who they believe are illegal immigrants from anyone of Latin/Hispanic decent.

A new Immigration law is to be taken up in November after the most controversial provisions were stripped away by a federal judge in the U.S. appeals court in California. Arizona's Republican Governor Jan Brewer appealed on Thursday against Judge Susan Bolton's decision and asked the court for an expedited appeals process. The Ninth Circuit court said that first brief hearings were set for mid-September and the case would begin on November 1 in San Francisco.

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