Pres. Obama slammed S.B. 1070 or the Arizona Immigration bill as the senate bill may violate civil rights. The Arizona Immigration law would require police to question people about their immigration status if there’s reason to suspect they’re in the country illegally.
Purpose of the S.B. 1070:
Requires officials and agencies of the state and political subdivisions to fully comply with and assist in the enforcement of federal immigration laws and gives county attorneys subpoena power in certain investigations of employers. Establishes crimes involving trespassing by illegal aliens, stopping to hire or soliciting work under specified circumstances, and transporting, harboring or concealing unlawful aliens, and their respective penalties.
Background of the Arizona Immigration Bill:
Federal law provides that any alien who 1) enters or attempts to enter the U.S. at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, 2) eludes examination by immigration officers, or 3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the U.S. by a willfully false or misleading representation is guilty of improper entry by an alien. For the first commission of the offense, the person is fined, imprisoned up to six months, or both, and for a subsequent offense, is fined, imprisoned up to 2 years, or both (8 U.S.C. § 1325).
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the primary authority for enforcing immigration laws. ICE was created in March 2003 as an investigative branch of the Department of Homeland Security. ICE was the result of combining the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the U.S. Customs Service.
Current statute defines criminal trespass in the first degree as a person knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully in areas related to residential structures, residential yards, real property subject to a valid mineral claim or lease under certain circumstances, property if the person defaces religious symbols or religious property, or critical public service facilities. Depending on the circumstances, criminal trespass in the first degree provides penalties ranging from a class 1 misdemeanor to a class 6 felony (A.R.S. § 13-1504).
In 2007, Arizona enacted the Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA), prohibiting an employer from knowingly or intentionally employing an unauthorized alien and establishing penalties for employers in violation. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office administers the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program. The SAVE Program, together with the Social Security Administration (SSA), administers E-Verify, which allows employers to electronically confirm the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees. LAWA requires all Arizona employers to use E-Verify to verify the employment eligibility of new hires. Proof of verifying the employment authorization of an employee through E-Verify creates a rebuttable presumption that an employer did not intentionally or knowingly employ an unauthorized alien.
The fiscal impact is unknown; however, there may be additional costs associated with criminal prosecution and detention of persons who are accused and convicted of the crimes established in this legislation. Additionally, the addition of new fines associated with this measure may also have an impact.
You can read the full text of the bill here.