Today is D-Day for Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. She is expected to sign or veto House Bill 1070 which makes being an illegal immigrant illegal. This is the legislation that makes law enforcement responsible for enforcing immigration laws state-wide.
Under the law, members of law enforcement are required to ascertain the status of alien workers whenever their legal status comes into suspicion. Those who are discovered to be out of status, or who came into the U.S. illegally, must be detained for immigration pick-up. There are various other nefarious provisions of the law, including penalties for citizens who transport undocumented workers, and of course, employers who hire undocumented workers.
Civil rights groups and others have voiced concerns about racial profiling. We have asked the question about what happens to citizens who are mistakenly detained. We also want to know where the refugees are going to go as they flee Sheriff “Little Joe” Arpaio, the bully with the badge in Maricopa county. We also are interested in learning how an undocumented worker can report a crime, since to do so may subject them to deportation.
It will be interesting to see how Governor Brewer reacts to the proposed legislation. It was passed strictly along party lines, Republicans voting for the law and Democrats voting against the law. The Republicans put Governor Brewer in a tight spot. If she signs the law she risks alienating the Latino vote. If she vetoes the law she will alienate the conservative Republican vote. Neither scenario bodes well for her in a tight re-election campaign.