GET ANSWERS: Arizona's Immigration Law

6:07 PM, Aug 2, 2010   |    comments
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Protests have erupted around Arizona's immigration law, also known as the "Support our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act."

Ken wrote to us wondering about the law. He said, "Suppose you are of Mexican descent. If stopped, you will be asked for ID and proof of citizenship. What papers will be accepted as proof?"

A highly-debated part of the law is its requirement of immigrants to carry papers at all times and for police to check a person's immigration status as they enforce other laws.

An order from the U.S. District Court of Arizona, which blocked parts of the immigration bill Wednesday, said people could prove they were legally in the county if they had a valid Arizona drivers or identification license, a valid tribal enrollment card or some other tribal ID or a valid U.S. federal, state or local form of identification as long as the agency that issued it required proof of citizenship.

The law said immigrants who failed or refused to apply for registration and fingerprinting in the U.S. or failed to do it for minors in their care committed a misdemeanor.

It also said those 18-years and older must carry a certificate of alien registration or an alien registration receipt card issued to them.

The bill says officers could check a person's immigration status with a law enforcement officer authorized by the federal government to verify immigration status. U.S. immigration and customs enforcement or custom and border protection could also prove someone's status.

The law came before the judge when the United States filed a complaint on July 6 challenging its constitutionality. They named immigration control as a power of the federal government and asked the court to stop the law from taking effect.

The U.S. also said some parts of the law would place a burden on federal agencies, with increased requests for checks on immigrants' status.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton did block some parts of the law, but Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has already filed an appeal.

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