Tough Immigration Law in Arizona May Have Gone Over the Top

Arizona decided to get tough on illegal immigrants in 2010. Some say it wasn’t enough others said it was too much. The latter group won a small concession as the ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling by a federal judge that ruled that portions of the immigration law in Arizona that was to go into effect on July 29, 2010 were unconstitutional.

Although, what the State of Arizona was trying to do was understandable to most Americans, especially during a huge economic downturn, was it too extreme? Considering the influx of illegal immigrants in to the United States from Mexico using the Arizona border to cross, proponents of the bill felt that something drastic had to be done because the Federal Government was not taking care of the problem. Opponents of the bill felt that the State was going about the right idea the wrong way. The immigration law in Arizona makes it illegal for immigrants to be out in public without their immigration papers. If a citizen believed that, the local agencies or governments are not properly enforcing immigration laws, they are allowed to sue them. If a police officer has reasonable suspicion that a person or persons are in the country illegally they can detain them until they verify that the suspect(s) are here with authorization.

The immigration law in Arizona has caused alarm bells to ring in Mexico as well. Officials there are concerned that this law will cause their citizens, who are here legally, to be unfairly treated by American police. If a person were to run out of their hotel door and forget their passport, lose their passport, or have the misfortune of having it stolen, they could find themselves behind bars until the Mexican Consulate could be contacted and it could be proven that they were in the country legally. The same would apply to a mishap with a green card.

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles was outraged by the immigration law of Arizona. He likened the granting of police the right to demand documents from anyone they presumed to be an immigrant to be tantamount to “Nazism.” President Obama has taken a hard stance against this law and has harshly criticized Arizona for essentially stomping on the American Dream, which should be free to anyone who comes here.

The governor and attorney general of Arizona have not given up the fight to have the law fully implemented, however. They are taking the fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Tom Horne, attorney general of Arizona believes that the law will be passed once it is reviewed by the highest court in our country. Whether or not this happens remains to be seen. The U.S. Constitution was developed to protect the rights of the citizens of America, first and foremost. The question is whether or not this law threatens our rights, as well as cracks down on illegal immigration.