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Arizona Governor Signs Immigration Bill

Phoenix radio station KFYI tweets that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has signed the controversial immigration bill, Senate bill 1070, into law. The state now has some of the toughest laws in the country that will, among other things, make it a state crime to be in the country illegally and require law enforcement officers to ask people they suspect of being in the country illegally about their legal status.

Update: The governor made the announcement at a press conference in Phoenix. “Respect for the rule of law means respect for every law,” said Brewer. “People across America are watching Arizona.”

Immigration activists are widely opposed to the bill, and many say the bill allows for racial profiling. Immediately after the announcement, Gabe Gonzales of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, an advocacy group, released this statement regarding the portion of the bill that allows officers to inquire about someone’s legal status:

What happened today in Arizona is a global embarrassment and a stain on our nation. No one in America should ever fear harassment and arrest by police simply because of the way they look…

President Obama must stop other states from following Arizona’s misguided path by taking a stronger leadership role in moving comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

The bill has also been criticized by numerous lawmakers, pro-immigrant groups and even President Obama. Civil rights groups, including the ACLU of Arizona, have already said they might challenge aspects of the bill’s constitutionality in court.

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