The bill, signed by Governor Jan Brewer on April 23, 2010, grants officials the power to demand to see the registration documents of any individual they suspect of being on U.S. soil illegally. The bill also states that it is a misdemeanor crime for immigrants to fail to carry registration documentation with them at all times.
Why the controversy re: the new immigration reform?
Those who oppose the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (SB 1070) argue that using "reasonable suspicion" as a method of accusing individuals of an illegal status can easily be interpreted as racial profiling. Others view the means of identifying and detaining illegal immigrants as a violation of their civil rights, comparing the act to the techniques used in Nazi Germany.
HB 2162, a modification made to SB 1070 shortly after its approval, is also a target for controversy. The House Bill states that "The likelihood that any given person of Mexican ancestry is an alien is high enough to make Mexican appearance a relevant factor,” which to many critics is the definition of racial profiling.
Supporters of SB 1070
A large number of Arizona residents feel that SB 1070 is a much-needed effort in reducing the growing crime rate. Supporters argue that in the past, federal government has done very little to enforce border control. The recent murder of a well-known and respected Arizona rancher by an illegal immigrant has fueled their arguments.
Where the law stands as of August 2010
On July 28th, 2010, exactly one day before the law was to go into effect, a federal judge blocked sections of the bill that have proven to be the most controversial, including the requirement that all immigrants must carry their registration papers at all times. Federal ruling of the bill will not be determined until November 2010.