These are good adjustments as its sponsor Sen. Russell Pearce notes,”just to take away the silly arguments and the games, the dishonesty that’s been played.” Good for them. I’ve noted since this passed, everyone should welcome court challenges, which it will survive, and therefore strengthen the bill itself as a template for other states. The willingness of Arizona lawmakers to make adjustments also signals they’re ready to stand by this important legislation and make it work.
Arizona lawmakers have approved several changes to the recently passed sweeping law targeting illegal immigration.
If Gov. Jan Brewer supports the changes, they will go into effect at the same time as the new law, 90 days from now.
The current law requires local and state law enforcement to question people about their immigration status if there’s reason to suspect they’re in the country illegally, and makes it a state crime to be in the United States illegally.
One change to the bill strengthens restrictions against using race or ethnicity as the basis for questioning and inserts those same restrictions in other parts of the law.
Changes to the bill language will actually remove the word “solely” from the sentence, “The attorney general or county attorney shall not investigate complaints that are based solely on race, color or national origin.”
Another change replaces the phrase “lawful contact” with “lawful stop, detention or arrest” to apparently clarify that officers don’t need to question a victim or witness about their legal status.
A third change specifies that police contact over violations for local civil ordinances can trigger questioning on immigration status.
UPDATE: One of the authors of Arizona’s SB 1070 has written an op-ed piece rebutting each of the criticisms of the bill. Please do read it for more ammunition in answering whatever mindless, hysterical liberals you encounter.