FOR THE WEEK OF JULY 26, 2010
Turning point for Arizona immigration law is watched nationwide
Watch for coverage of the Phoenix judge's ruling on whether full or partial enforcement can begin Thursday. Does the decision seem sensible?
Comments about the situation are voiced and published nationwide. Look for local reactions. Are any from the Hispanic community?
Latino and Hispanic professionals, merchants, students, parents and athletes are in the paper for reasons that have nothing to do with immigration or Arizona's law. Try to spot an example of this "mainstream coverage," as journalists call it.
A controversial Arizona law aimed at illegal immigrants is set to take effect Thursday unless a federal judge blocks it temporarily, as the Obama administration urged in a Phoenix court late last week. That hearing, and the law itself, reflect a hot issue: Should local police, rather than federal authorities, be able to question people they suspect are in the United States illegally?
"Regulation of immigration is unquestionably, exclusively, a federal power," an attorney representing the U.S. Justice Department told Federal Judge Susan Bolton. "It is not for one of our states to be inhospitable in the way this statute does." The law may bring police harassment of U.S. citizens, the attorney added.
The law, which Brewer signed in April, requires state and local police to arrest people unable to prove they're here legally when questioned during a traffic stop or other law enforcement contact. It also makes it a crime to transport someone who is an illegal immigrant and to hire day laborers off the street. Critics fear Hispanic American citizens will be harassed. The Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police opposes the law because of concerns about an added obligation on officers' time and because it may erode relations with Hispanic American citizens. "I really don't know if it will have any significant effect at all," says Chief Paul Moncada of Benson, Ariz. "Will it be a deterrent? Probably not."
Governor says: ""We feel very, very confident that we stand on good ground. We . . . believe from our heart that it's constitutional and the right thing to do." -- Jan Brewer
Civil liberties group says: "This extreme law, which practically begs police to engage in racial profiling, will lead to unnecessary police harassment of citizens based solely on the fact that they may look or sound like they are foreign." -- Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona
Hispanic-American says: ""My white friends say, 'Oh, Melissa, you're making such a big deal of it.' But they're white. They don't have to deal with it." -- Melissa Herrera DiPeso, real estate agency owner in Benson, Ariz.
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