The Arizona immigration bill which was signed into law last week has sparked heated controversy not only in Arizona, but also in national debate. The bill will take effect in late July or early August, depending on when the current legislative session ends.
Opponents of the law cite potential racial profiling; supporters say that it isn’t fear of profiling but rather of deportation that is driving the racial profiling argument.
Mayor Phil Gordon discusses his opposition
A video was posted on 4/25/10 on foxnews.com with the headline: ‘Arizona Immigration Bill Spurs National Debate.’
It features the mayor of Phoenix, Phil Gordon, who is opposed to this law. The arguments he puts forth: the bill tramples on civil rights; it makes the situation more unsafe because of reallocation of resources from public safety issues to enforcement responsibilities; it does economic harm to cities, citing calls for boycotts for conventions, etc., and lastly, it doesn’t do anything to solve the problem.
Mayor Gordon believes that the Federal government needs to have a workable immigration policy rather than for states to try to work this out by themselves.
Article regarding Mayor Gordon
Mayor Phil Gordon’s arguments were further outlined in an article posted 4/25/10 on foxnews.com. It carried the headline: ‘Phoenix Mayor: Arizona Immigration Law Puts Seniors, Kids at Risk of Being Arrested.’
As possible rebuttal to Mayor Gordon’s arguments, the article states that it is unclear whether non-state license holders would be as susceptible to arrest as Gordon described. It further states: ‘A “valid Arizona” driver’s license is just one of several types of documentation the law says would count as proof of residency.’
President Obama weighs in
In an article posted 4/24/10 on online.wsj.com, the headline read: ‘Obama Blasts Arizona Law’ with the subtitle: ‘Governor Signs Strict Immigration Measure as Fight Moves to National Stage.’
This article began with this sentence: ‘In an unusual White House attack on state legislation, President Barack Obama harshly criticized an Arizona measure to crack down on illegal immigration and made clear Friday that he is looking for an election-year fight over the volatile issue.’
There is further discussion in the story about how Democrats are planning to use this issue in the upcoming election campaigns, and that a Democratic pollster is conducting surveys on this for several immigrant advocacy groups.
A statistic in the article places Arizona’s illegal immigrant population at 460,000.
Embedded with this article is a Reuter’s video with a report from Jon Decker who further discusses the issues that are involved with this law.
Video featuring Gov. Jan Brewer
A video posted 4/24/10 on foxnews.com entitled: ‘Arizona’s Controversial Immigration Law,’ centered on protests that occurred throughout the state in response to the signing of the new law. A concern that racial profiling would occur was cited. Gov. Jan Brewer was featured on the video with her arguments for the necessity of the law, and her plans for preventing racial profiling.
Immigration Advocates Vow to Fight
An Associated Press article posted on foxnews.com on 4/24/10 was entitled: ‘Immigration Advocates Vow to Fight Arizona Law.’
It stated: ‘At least two advocacy groups were preparing legal challenges to Arizona’s tough new immigration law and Mexico has warned that the law could affect cross-border relations.’
The article further stated that Gov. Brewer has ordered the state’s law enforcement licensing agency to develop a training course on how to implement it without violating civil rights.
AP article says Hispanics fear profiling
An article posted on news.yahoo.com on 4/24/10 carried the headline: ‘Hispanics fear profiling under new Arizona law.’
According to the article, however, supporters dismiss concerns about racial profiling, saying the law prohibits the use of race or nationality as the sole basis for an immigration check. The measure’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Russell Pearce, said opponents are using racial profiling as a cover for their true concern – deportation. “This is not about profiling. They’re worried about the laws being enforced,” Pearce said.
Within Arizona, congressional opposition is being demonstrated by the Representative Raul Grijalva. In an Associated Press article on foxnews.com, updated 4/26/10, Rep. Grijalva, a Democrat, and civil rights activist spoke on Sunday to thousands of people gathered at the state Capitol and called on President Obama to fight the law.
Read the article entitled: ‘Ariz. Congressman: U.S. Should Fight Immigration Law,’ for more details on the stand that Representative Grijalva has taken on this issue.
Supporters and opposition leaders are making their cases known through the media. Since this debate has only begun, there will no doubt be much more on which to report before the law actually takes effect sometime this summer.
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