Friday, April 23, 2010
Arizona governor signs U.S. immigration law. Video and article
Police in the border state with Mexico will now be required to determine if people are in the country illegally if there is "reasonable suspicion" -- which critics charge will open the door to racial profiling.
Immigration is a bitterly fought issue in the United States, where some 10.8 million illegal immigrants live and work in the shadows. But until recently it has been eclipsed at the national level by other issues such as healthcare and financial reform, angering many Latino supporters of Obama.
Several thousand people gathered outside the state capitol, in Phoenix ahead of the governor's announcement, mostly opponents carrying signs saying "We Are Human" and "Enough is Enough."
The bill -- passed by the Republican-controlled state Senate this week and signed by Brewer, a Republican -- is expected to spark a legal challenge and already is a hot issue in the run-up to U.S. congressional elections in November.
"If we continue to fail to act at a federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country," Obama said earlier on Friday at a ceremony swearing in new U.S. citizens.
Brewer said the new law strengthened Arizona and would help keep it safe from drug cartels and other threats.
"It protects all of us, every Arizona citizen and everyone here in our state lawfully and it does so while ensuring that the constitutional rights of all in Arizona remain solid," she said.
Brewer said that Arizona acted because Washington had not, and she said that police would be trained on the concept of what constitutes "reasonable suspicion" that someone is an illegal immigrant. (continues here)