Its Happening in Arizona
The very recent passage of Arizona Senate Bill 1070 (SB1070) is raising the emotions of pro-immigration activists because of the appearance of profiling. Yet, without being a legal or Constitutional expert, it seems that the bill is an exercise of state's rights to enforce a law that is also part of the federal law enforcement tool kit. This comes under the premise of the exercise of concurrent powers and whether the States have any rights over the federal government when it comes to immigration.
Today, the Governor of Arizona faces a deadline on what could be a watershed piece of legislation that would make it a crime under state law to be in the country illegally
A Saturday deadline for Brewer, a Republican, to act on the bill was set on Monday when the legislation arrived on her desk. She can sign, veto or allow it to become law without her signature. Civil rights activists have said the bill would lead to racial profiling and deter Hispanics from reporting crimes. Hundreds of Hispanics protested the legislation at the State Capitol complex on Thursday.
It has often been argued that among the roles of the federal government are that of taxation, building highways and the defense of the Nation. It also has the power to protect the security of our international borders and the control of immigration into the United States. But the question now being raised by the passage of this bill in Arizona, a border state in the 21st Century sense of the term, is whether the States now have the right to identify and prosecute (and have deported) any person found to be an illegal immigrant. The bill enables Arizona police to detain anyone on "reasonable suspicion" if they aren't carrying " valid drivers' license or other form of identity papers"
Some see this as racial profiling while others see this as a way to force the issue of enforcement of existing measures to stem the flow of illegal immigration. It would be very interesting to see Governor Brewer sign the bill into law and watch the Constitutional challenges as they go to the Supreme Court, and as other states consider following suit. So much depends on where you live. If you're in a border state and you have at least the illusion that illegal immigrants are committing crimes in addition to being in this country illegally, Arizona Senate Bill 1070 (SB1070) is not only an issue of public safety, but also one of State's Rights.