A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Even More on Arizona’s Illegal Immigrant Law

with 2 comments

A while back a certain state passed a certain law that was really unpopular. I expressed my worries about the wording of the law as well. My main beef was the fact the bill simple stated:

OR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE, WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON. THE PERSON’S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c).

I feel that wording is poorly chosen as “lawful contact” could mean any number of things. Well I’ve been doing a little more digging into this law and found out that Arizona’s House actually corrected the wording in their HB 2162:

For any lawful contact stop, detention or arrest made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of this state or a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state in the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of a county, city or town or this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who and is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation. Any person who is arrested shall have the person’s immigration status determined before the person is released. The person’s immigration status shall be verified with the federal government pursuant to 8 United States code section 1373(c). A law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state may not solely consider race, color or national origin in implementing the requirements of this subsection except to the extent permitted by the United States or Arizona Constitution. A person is presumed to not be an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States if the person provides to the law enforcement officer or agency any of the following:

I don’t know why I didn’t find this earlier but I can see why it was never really reported by the big media companies. This rewording pretty much takes care of my biggest gripe with this law. It does seem reasonable to check a person’s immigration status upon enforcement of other laws being background checks are usually run anyways.

There is still the potential issue of an officer pulling a person over solely to check their immigration status by making up some phony bull shit about a light being out but that threat exists for every law on the books. But I will openly admit I was wrong here and should have done more research at the time of writing about my issues with the law.

Written by Christopher Burg

May 27th, 2010 at 8:30 am