Arizona’s Anti-immigration Law is Causing Controversy

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed a tough, new anti-immigration law Friday, April 25, which is causing an uproar nationwide.

This new Arizona law gives police the power to question anyone reasonably suspected of being illegally in the country. Citizens are now required to carry papers proving their right to be in the United States at all times. Lack of proof of citizenship can result in trespassing charges and jail time for up to six months.

Many are outraged by this law saying it is unconstitutional and allows racial profiling. People have been protesting the bill outside the state Capitol since Friday and an Arizona economic boycott is already having negative affects on the state.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association notified JW Marriott in Scottsdale that it will cancel a 300-plus person event, saying, “We didn’t feel it was appropriate to have a meeting in (the) state.”

At the Arizona Inn in Tucson, the manager, Will Conroy, said that over the weekend 12 customers canceled reservations or said they would not return to the state because of the law.

Arizona’s governor Jan Brewer argued the tough law is necessary because the federal government has failed to stem the tide of undocumented immigrants in Arizona.

“We can not stand idly by as drop houses, kidnappings and violence compromise our quality of life,” said Brewer.

Jan Brewer has acknowledged critics’ concerns, saying she would work to ensure that the police have proper training to carry out the law. But she sided with arguments by the law’s sponsors that it provides an indispensable tool for the police in a border state that is a leading magnet of illegal immigration. She said racial profiling would not be tolerated, adding, “We have to trust our law enforcement.”

President Obama last week called the legislation “misguided” and said the federal government must act on the immigration issue.

The President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon said this law breeds discrimination and hate.

“Criminalizing immigration, which is a social and economic phenomenon, this way opens the door to intolerance, hate, discrimination and abuse in law enforcement,” Calderon said. He added, “My government cannot and will not remain indifferent when these kinds of policies go against human rights.”

Phil Gordon, the Mayor of Phoenix said Phoenix may file a lawsuit against the new bill. The Democratic mayor said he has requested the City Council to consider suing the state on grounds the new immigration law is “unconstitutional” and “unenforceable.”

Even Pop star Shakira has joined the protest. She will be meeting with Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon in Arizona on Thursday, April 29.

Jon Stewart took jabs at the bill on “The Daily Show” calling Arizona “the meth lab of democracy”. The show also joked that “Arizona police [will] look for suspicious people who are gardening or burping white people’s babies.” Check out the video clip below.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
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