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Thread: Immigration enforcement in Ariz. could toughen

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    Guest LUCKY13's Avatar
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    new Immigration enforcement in Ariz. could toughen

    PHOENIX — As America's busiest immigrant smuggling hub, Arizona has earned the distinction as a place that's tough on people who sneak across the border.

    That reputation would harden if the Legislature and governor approve a proposal that would draw local authorities deeper into immigration enforcement and further reject the notion that immigration is the sole responsibility of the federal government.

    The proposal, which has cleared the state Senate and is being considered by the House, would require police to try to determine people's immigration status when they have reasonable suspicions that a person doesn't have legal status.

    And, if approved, Arizona would become the only state to criminalize the presence of illegal immigrants through an expansion of its trespassing law.

    While the practical effect of such a law is yet unclear, immigrant rights advocates predict it would lead to racial profiling that would target thousands of Latinos who are U.S. citizens.

    And the proposal's constitutionality is also a source of contention.

    Some turning a blind eye to illegal immigrants
    A few years ago, police chiefs in two communities in New Hampshire charged illegal immigrants with trespassing for being in the state. A local judge in 2005 dismissed the charges as an unconstitutional attempt to apply state laws to a federal issue.

    But supporters of the proposal say that on top of inadequate federal border efforts, many local police departments have turned a blind eye to illegal immigrants.

    Some local politicians "don't have the courage to stand up for their citizens," said state Sen. Russell Pearce of Mesa, the bill's sponsor.

    The measure cleared the Senate on a 16-12 vote on June 15 and is being considered by the House. The proposed trespassing provision is similar to proposals vetoed in 2006 by then-Gov. Janet Napolitano, who said she opposed turning all immigrants who sneaked into the state into criminals.

    Under this year's proposed trespassing provision, a first offense would be a top-tier misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail. Subsequent violations would be a felony that could carry a penalty of up to 2 1/2 years in prison.

    Agencies arresting first-time offenders would have the option of prosecuting them or turning them over to federal authorities.

    Supporters say the measure wouldn't encourage racial profiling, because officers would still need probable cause to believe that people violated the law before they could arrest them.

    But opponents say such a law would detract from officers' traditional roles in combating crimes in their communities. They say officers who aren't schooled in the complexities of immigration law would likely approach people based solely on their appearance.

    "It's almost impossible for it to be applied without relying on racial profiling and without committing egregious errors," said Jennifer Allen, director of the Border Action Network, an immigrant rights group based in southern Arizona.

    Communities exposed to liability
    And communities could be stuck with legal bills from any mistakes made by officers who aren't trained in immigration law, said Robert DeVries, who is chief of police in the western Arizona town of Kingman, and also president of the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police.

    "It exposes the community down the line if mistakes were to occur," said DeVries, whose group opposes the measure.

    As for the constitutionality of the proposal, interpretations are mixed.

    Linton Joaquin, general counsel for the National Immigration Law Center, an advocacy group for low-income immigrants, said a state can play a part in immigration enforcement — such as calling federal authorities when arresting an illegal immigrant on a state criminal violation — but a state can't have statutes that are, in effect, immigration laws.

    But Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, whose office helped draft the bill, said even though the federal government has authority to regulate immigration, states have broad police powers that allow them to contribute to the fight against illegal immigration.

    "The argument that the states can't do anything to combat illegal immigration is just wrong," Thomas said.

    MSNBC

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  2. #2
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    Post Murder of Arizona Rancher Roils Immigration Debate

    Cattle rancher Rob Krentz often helped illegal immigrants he found stranded on his sprawling Arizona ranch.

    Then two weeks ago, he and his dog were gunned down shortly after he reported spotting someone who appeared to be in trouble. Foot tracks were followed from the shooting scene about 20 miles south, to the Mexico border, and authorities suspect an illegal immigrant.

    The killing of the third-generation rancher has become a flashpoint in the immigration debate as politicians cite the episode as further proof that the U.S. must do more to secure the violent U.S.-Mexico border.

    The governors of New Mexico and Arizona took a public tour of the border this week in support of more security. The subject has ignited endless discussion on blogs, and has been politicized in the U.S. Senate Republican brawl between J.D. Hayworth and incumbent John McCain.

    Hayworth has accused McCain of not doing enough to protect U.S. citizens from growing border violence. McCain, for his part, has called for increased security in response to the killing.

    "The federal government must do all it can within its power to curb this violence and protect its citizens from criminals coming across the border from Mexico," McCain wrote in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, a former Arizona governor.

    Krentz will be remembered at a funeral Saturday in Douglas, about 35 miles southwest of his 35,000-acre ranch and the home where he raised three children with his wife of 33 years, Sue.

    Investigators have not definitively tied the killing to the drug trade, but the slaying comes at a time when well-armed cartel factions have battled each other and federal authorities in several Mexican border cities, resulting in thousands of brutal killings.

    The violence has been concentrated in Mexico's Ciudad Juarez on the Texas border and Tijuana, just south of San Diego, and hasn't yet spilled over into Arizona's remote border region.

    Krentz's death sparked fears that was changing.

    The Krentz family was no stranger to the problems of illegal immigration. Their home was robbed, and Krentz once found the carcass of one of his calves that had been killed for food, presumably by starving immigrants.

    But the soft-spoken rancher bore no ill will toward illegal immigrants, according to friends and family.

    They say Krentz sympathized with their desire for a piece of the American pie. He gave them food and water if they were in distress, and sometimes he'd call the U.S. Border Patrol, which meant deportation but also guarantees of medical assistance and escape from possible death.

    "If they come and ask for water, I'll still give them water," Krentz once told PBS' Religion & Ethics Newsweekly in 1999. "You know, that's just my nature."

    Wendy Glenn, who has a ranch south of the Krentz property and is a good family friend, said she believes she heard some of Krentz's last words when he used a radio to talk to his brother the day he was killed.

    "He says, 'I see an immigrant out here, and he appears to need help. Call the Border Patrol,"' Glenn, 69, said she heard Krentz say at about 10:30 a.m. on March 27. "He was not frantic. He was not calling for help."

    After Krentz went missing for hours and hadn't communicated with anyone, Glenn said she and others assumed he'd been robbed and stranded somewhere on his property. But his body was found just before midnight in a remote area of his land.

    After he was shot, the 58-year-old Krentz managed to drive away in his all-terrain vehicle before losing consciousness and dying from his wounds. Nothing had been stolen from him, and his gun was still in its holster. His dog was killed, too.

    Glenn and those who knew Krentz say he never would have confronted anyone he thought was dangerous. Most likely, he was just trying to help, they say.

    "There are a lot of people out here who are unarmed that need help, and I'm sure Rob didn't realize he was armed," Glenn said. "I think he approached to see if he could help him and the guy thought maybe he was going to get arrested, that maybe Rob was the law ... I don't know what the guy thought, but he never gave Rob a chance."

    She said Krentz was modest, honest and an unwavering friend, and that everyone who knew him is "absolutely devastated."

    "I keep expecting to see Rob walk in the door," she said. "The reality now is very hard to face. That man is gone forever."

    Krentz's family members declined requests for comment, but released a statement saying he was a humanitarian "who bore no ill will toward anyone" and instilled in his children the importance of honesty and fair dealing.

    The family said they hold no malice toward the Mexican people and blame the U.S. and Mexican governments for the killing.

    "Their disregard of our repeated pleas and warnings of impending violence toward our community fell on deaf ears shrouded in political correctness," according to the statement. "As a result, we have paid the ultimate price for their negligence in credibly securing our borderlands."

    foxnews

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  3. #3
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    new NYT: Arizona close to tightening immigration law

    Arizona might soon have a law that bolsters its reputation as the nation's leader in controversial immigration policy.

    Arizona Police To Get Immigration Powers?

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    new Arizona Sheriff Won't Enforce 'Stupid' Immigration Law

    The top cop in Arizona's Pima County has no intention of enforcing the state's new "stupid, racist and disgusting" immigration law. "We're going to keep doing what we've been doing all along," said Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. "We're not going to stop and detain these people for the Border Patrol." He...

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  5. #5
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    new Lawsuits target new Arizona law

    PHOENIX — Anger mounted Thursday over an Arizona measure cracking down on illegal immigration as a police officer sued to challenge it, governors in Texas and Colorado weighed in to oppose such a law in their own states, and activists in Chicago chanted for a boycott outside an Arizona Diamondbacks game.

    The lawsuit from 15-year Tucson police veteran Martin Escobar was one of two filed Thursday, less than a week after Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed the bill that makes it a state crime to be in the United States illegally.

    U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said the federal government may challenge the law, which requires local and state law enforcement to question people about their immigration status if there's reason to suspect they're in the country illegally.

    Critics claim the law is unconstitutional and fear it will lead to racial profiling, while Brewer and other backers say the state law is necessary amid the federal government's failure to secure the border.

    State lawmakers OK changes

    While divisive debate over the law swirled nationwide, Arizona lawmakers approved several changes, including one that would strengthen restrictions in the law on using race or ethnicity as the basis for police questioning. The law's sponsor, Republican Sen. Russell Pearce, characterized those possible changes as clarifications "just to take away the silly arguments and the games."

    In filing his suit against the law, Escobar, an overnight patrol officer in a heavily Latino area of Tucson, argued that there's no way for officers to confirm a person's immigration status without impeding investigations, and that the new law violates constitutional rights.

    Tucson police spokesman Sgt. Fabian Pacheco said Escobar acted on his own in suing, and not on the department's behalf.

    The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders also sued Thursday and sought an injunction preventing authorities from enforcing the law. The group argue that federal law pre-empts state regulation of national borders, and Arizona's law violates due process rights by letting police detain suspected illegal immigrants before they're convicted.

    "Mexican-Americans are not going to take this lying down," singer Linda Ronstadt, a Tucson native, said at a state Capitol news conference on another lawsuit planned by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the National Immigration Law Center.

    In Mexico City, Mayor Marcelo Ebrard announced he would try to join lawsuits seeking to overturn the law, with a statement from his office calling the measure "a planned Apartheid against Mexicans."

    Ebrard did not explain what legal standing the Mexican capital would have before U.S. courts, but said the issue could be taken to international human rights forums.

    Meanwhile, officials in El Salvador, which has about 2.8 million citizens living in the United States, urged Salvadorans to avoid traveling to Arizona, according to the Foreign Ministry. In Nicaragua, officials called on the Organization of American States and the United Nations "to take the necessary measures to safeguard the rights of the Hispanic population."

    At least three Arizona cities — Phoenix, Flagstaff and Tucson — are considering legal action to block the law. In Flagstaff, police investigated a threatening e-mail sent to members of the City Council over their opposition to the law. The author said council members should be "arrested, tried in court, found guilty of treason and hanged from the nearest tree!"

    About 40 immigrant rights activists gathered Thursday outside Wrigley Field as the Chicago Cubs opened a four-game series against the Diamondbacks. A small plane toting a banner criticizing the law circled the stadium.

    Activist George Lieu said a letter was sent to Cubs management asking the team to stop holding spring training in Arizona.

    A Cubs spokesman declined to comment. Arizona manager A.J. Hinch says the team is there to play baseball.

    The Mexico-based World Boxing Council said it will not schedule any bouts featuring Mexican fighters in Arizona, to protest what it called the state's "shameful, inhuman and discriminatory" immigration law.

    Families going elsewhere for university

    At the University of Arizona in Tucson, a campus-wide e-mail from school President Robert Shelton said families of several out-of-state honor students have notified the university that they will enroll their children elsewhere.

    The law sparked others to weigh in, from politicians to entertainers:

    • Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, a Democrat who is leaving office next year, said he would veto a new law like the one in Arizona, weighing in after GOP candidates to replace him said they would support such a law. "That is not within the spirit of our law," Ritter said.


    • In Texas, Republican Gov. Rick Perry said such a law would be wrong for his state to adopt, citing a Texas tradition of rejecting harsh anti-immigrant policies. "I fully recognize and support a state's right and obligation to protect its citizens, but I have concerns with portions of the law passed in Arizona and believe it would not be the right direction for Texas," Perry said.


    • In California, the state Assembly passed a resolution urging the federal government to fix the immigration system. The resolution, which was in the works before Arizona's law was passed, advanced on a party-line vote, with majority Democrats supporting it.


    • Colombian singer Shakira visited Phoenix to meet the city's police chief and mayor amid her concern, her spokesman said, "about the impact of this law on hardworking Latino families." At the Billboard Latin Music Awards ceremony in Puerto Rico, singer Ricky Martin denounced the law, too, saying it "makes no sense."


    • In Mexico, the governor of the border state of Chihuahua announced Thursday he will not attend the annual Border Governor's Conference, scheduled for early September in Phoenix. Gov. Jose Reyes Baeza said his administration has already urged Chihuahua residents to avoid traveling to Arizona.


    Supporters of the new law also were vocal outside the state.

    A group of conservative state lawmakers in Oklahoma said they plan to introduce a bill similar to Arizona's. In Texas, Rep. Debbie Riddle, a Republican, said she will introduce a measure similar to the Arizona law in the January legislative session. And Republicans running for governor in Colorado and Minnesota expressed support for the crackdown.


    MSNBC News

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    new 2 Arizona city councils vote to sue over new law

    The Tucson and Flagstaff city councils voted Tuesday to sue Arizona over its tough new immigration law, citing concerns about enforcement costs and negative effects on the state's tourism industry.

    FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) Another city council in Arizona has voted to sue over the new state immigration law.

    The Flagstaff City Council voted 6-1 Tuesday night in favor of the resolution before a crowd that initially numbered in the hundreds but dwindled significantly as the night wore on.

    Earlier Tuesday, the Tucson City Council voted to sue Arizona in an effort to overturn the law.

    The state law requires local and state law enforcement officers to question people about their immigration status if there's reason to suspect they're in the country illegally.

    The Flagstaff resolution says it's an unfunded mandate to carry out the responsibilities of the federal government. The council's vote directs the city attorney to retain legal counsel.

    Councilman Scott Overton voted against the resolution, saying the move is premature.

    ABC

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    Post Ariz. Immigration Law Court Battle Begins

    PHOENIX -- A federal judge will hear arguments Thursday from lawyers for the governor, the U.S. government and civil rights groups over whether Arizona's new law requiring police to run checks on immigration status should take effect in a week.

    U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton will consider a request by the U.S. Justice Department to block enforcement of the law. She also will hear arguments in a challenge by civil rights groups over whether the law should be put on hold and whether that lawsuit should be thrown out of court.

    The judge has said she wasn't making any promises on whether she would make those rulings before the law takes effect on July 29.

    The law requires officers, while enforcing other laws, to check a person's immigration status if there's a reasonable suspicion that the person is here illegally. It also bans people from blocking traffic when they seek or offer day-labor services on streets and prohibits illegal immigrants from soliciting work in public places.

    Since Gov. Jan Brewer signed the measure into law on April 23, it has inspired rallies in Arizona and elsewhere by advocates on both sides of the immigration debate. Some opponents have advocated a tourism boycott of Arizona.

    It also led an unknown number of illegal immigrants to leave Arizona for other U.S. states or their home countries and prompted seven challenges by the Justice Department, civil rights groups, two Arizona police officers, a Latino clergy group and a researcher from Washington.

    Justice Department lawyers contend that local police shouldn't be allowed to enforce the law because, in part, it's already disrupting the United States' relations with Mexico and other countries.

    Attorneys for Brewer argue that the federal government based its challenge on misconceptions of what the law would do and that Washington's inadequate immigration enforcement has left the state with heavy costs for educating, incarcerating and providing health care for illegal immigrants.

    In the challenge by civil rights groups, Brewer and other officials said the lawsuit should be thrown out because the groups don't allege a real threat of harm from enforcing the new law and instead base their claims on speculation.

    The civil rights groups said their clients will suffer imminent harm, such as a social service organization that will have to divert resources from its programs to instead assist those affected by the new law.


    foxnews

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