This Friday, April 23, 2010, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer officially signed S.B.1070 into law. The bill is the nation’s toughest immigration enforcement bill, making it a crime in Arizona to be in the country illegally and cracking down on the hiring of day laborers and the transportation of illegal aliens.
Criticized by many, the bill is a perfect example of the frustration on the state level of the federal government’s refusal to secure the borders and enforce the immigration laws already on the books. Census Bureau figures show about a quarter of Arizona’s population is of Hispanic descent. It also shares a border with Mexico and has an estimated 460,000 residents living there illegally, the seventh highest total in the country, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
70% of likely voters in Arizona approve of the legislation, while just 23% oppose it.
Disdainful as usual of the will of the people, Obama called the new Arizona law “misguided” and “irresponsible.” He said the actions by the Arizona legislature threaten “to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans,” and that he has instructed U.S. authorities to monitor the state’s actions and to “examine the civil rights and other implications” of the legislation.
Arizona’s new law already has sparked protests in the state, including a small riot in Phoenix where riot Police were called to control an unruly group of protesters against SB1070 who began to fight with a man who was for the immigration bill. When police tried to escort the man away from the scene, fearing for his safety, they too came under attack by people throwing items, including water bottles. A young man was arrested during that melee. Things calmed down moments later, but riot Police remained at the capital to maintain some sort of order.
A big h/t to beloved FellowshipOfMinds member May!