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Entries in Arizona (94)

Wednesday
Mar272013

'Gang of Eight' Senators on Tour in Arizona See Border Patrol in Action

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images(NOGALES, Ariz.) -- Four of the U.S. senators leading the charge on immigration reform got more than they expected Wednesday when they came to Nogales, Ariz., to check on border security.

Just a few steps away from where they stood with Customs and Border Patrol officials, the problem facing the nation unfolded before their eyes: A young woman was sprinting her way out of Mexico, then climbing a security fence, only to be caught by the border patrol within seconds.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., tweeted about the event, saying: "Just witnessed a woman successfully climb an 18-ft bollard fence a few yards from us in Nogales. And Border Patrol successfully apprehended her, but incident is another reminder that threats to our border security are real."

Arizona's Senate delegation, McCain and Sen. Jeff Flake, both Republicans, hosted Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., for a tour along the border in Nogales, part of the Tucson sector. All four senators are members of the so-called "Gang of Eight" that is working on a solution to the nation's immigration issues.

ABC News was at the scene of the apprehension exclusively and later asked the senators from out of state what they thought of the experience.

"Well, I'd have to know all the details there to give you a judgment," Schumer said. "One of the things we learned is that a lot of people cross the border are doing it for drug purposes, too. But I don't know what happened in this situation."

The incident was "surprising" to Bennet.

"I just have never seen it before," he said.

For McCain, the incident was all too normal.

"One of the sad things about all of this is that most of those people who jump over the fence are doing that because they want a better life," he said at the news conference following the tour. "And I understand that. So we separate the drug cartels from individuals or somebody trying to cross over so they improve their lives."

The Border Patrol has more agents than ever, nearly 22,000, with 651 miles of fence along the 1,969-mile-long border.

Technology assists the boots on the ground, with 125 airplanes and six drones patrolling the Mexican frontier working with Border Patrol agents to make crossing the border illegally more difficult than ever.

In fact, apprehensions like the ones the senators saw are down 78 percent from their peak in 2000.

President Obama, in interviews with ABC News' partner, Univision, said Wednesday he believes the border is secure enough to begin the reforms that would bring the 11 million undocumented immigrants out of the shadows.

"It's never going to be 110-percent perfect, but what we can do is to continue to improve it and, at the same time, provide a clear pathway for those who are already here and who've invested their lives here," the president said.

Counter to stereotype, six of the nation's 10 safest cities are on or near the border. El Paso, Texas, which sits just a few miles from Juarez, Mexico, has the lowest crime rate in the nation three years running.

El Paso Mayor John Cook said it's time to start immigration reform now "because [the] border is secure."

"For the most part, people who come into the United States don't want to get in trouble. They don't want to commit crimes," he said. "They just want to make a living. I call them economic refugees [because] they just came to try to secure the American dream and a better life for their families, not to commit crimes."

Back in Arizona, McCain was in his home state to convince skeptics from his base that border security is improving. He gave this qualified endorsement.

"With the proper use of technology, with the proper coordination between different agencies, [I believe] that we will be able to say that we have a degree of border security that would allow people to move forward to a path of citizenship," McCain said.

The senators said they hope to have an agreement on an immigration reform bill soon.

"We hope to have a bill agreed to and done the day we come back," Schumer said.

Both McCain and Schumer recognized that compromise was key.

"With this legislation, no one will be totally happy because we are having to make compromises, and that's what makes for good legislation, is compromise that brings everybody together," McCain said.

They added that the reforms cannot be passed piecemeal and will need to be passed as a complete unit.

The four senators who did not make the tour hope to make one in the near future. They already had plans for the recess when it was organized.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Mar172013

Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Arizona Voter ID Law

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Lawyers for Arizona, a state that has clashed repeatedly with the federal government on the issue of immigration, will be back at the Supreme Court on Monday defending a state law that requires proof of citizenship in order to register to vote in elections.

Critics of the law say that it conflicts with federal law — the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) — which is sometimes referred to as the Motor Voter law. It was enacted in 1993 to establish uniform procedures to vote in federal elections.

The NVRA provides a federal form for registration in which the registrant is required to check a box indicating U.S. citizenship and to sign the form under penalty of perjury.

But the state law, Proposition 200, which was passed into law in 2004, requires any registrant who does not have a driver’s license issued after 1996 or a non-operating license to provide documents such as a copy of a birth certificate or a passport.

“The case is intrinsically important,” says election law expert Edward B. Foley of the Moritz School of Law at Ohio State University, “because it asks whether a state can add a requirement to prove U.S. citizenship at the time of voter registration, beyond what the federal government requires under the NVRA”.

“This is an important case that is under the radar screen, because it involves not only the issue of immigration but also the regulation of voting rights,” Foley says. “More broadly, how do we make the rules of elections and who gets to write the rules — the federal government or the states?”

Groups such as the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) say the law puts an additional burden on voters. They argue that a voter registrant who submits the federal form but does not provide additional documentation required by the state law is rejected for voter registration.

In court briefs, lawyers for MALDEF say: “Although states are authorized to design and use their own mail voter registration form, nothing in the statute permits states to use their forms to the exclusion of the federal form.”

Nina Perales, MALDEF’s Vice President of Litigation says that Arizona is trying to portray the dispute as a “David and Goliath battle between a state and an overbearing federal government,” but she says the “bottom line, is that Arizona’s law excludes U.S. citizens from registering to vote and it conflicts with federal law. Federal law says an individual can register to vote using a federal voter registration form. Arizona rejects the federal voter registration form unless they meet additional documentation requirements.”

She says that following the enactment of Proposition 200, more than 31,000 individuals were rejected for voter registration and less than one-third of the rejected registrants were subsequently successfully registered to vote.

A federal appeals court ruled against Proposition 200 and blocked the provision at issue.

Arizona Attorney General Thomas C. Horne argues in court briefs that Proposition 200 is necessary to preserve the integrity of elections. He says the state law does not conflict with the NVRA.

“The requirement that applicants provide additional evidence to support their application does not constitute a ‘rejection’ of the federal form any more than an identification check at an airport gate entrance constitutes a ‘rejection’ of a passenger’s ticket,” Horne says in the court briefs.

“Arizona, like other states, has experienced fraud in voting with regard to both registration and casting ballots,” Horne argues.

Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Oklahoma and Texas have filed a brief in support of Arizona saying that the state law “works hand in glove” with the federal law at issue and that Proposition 200 “is itself designed to protect the electoral process for the benefit of eligible citizens.”

But the federal government has filed a brief in support of the challengers, arguing that the NVRA “prohibits a state from imposing additional requirements on applicants who seek to register for federal elections through the federal form.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec042012

Where’s Jan Brewer? Arizona Governor Takes Secret Trip

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is MIA. Sort of.

The governor, who is best known for championing the state’s controversial immigration law, is currently taking a week-long work trip out of state, but her office has refused to disclose where she is going.

The mysterious trip leaves Secretary of State Ken Bennett as the acting governor, as outlined by the state’s constitution. Bennett spokesman Matt Roberts tells ABC News that the secretary’s office was notified on Friday that the governor would be gone from Sunday through Saturday, but they were not told where the governor was going.

There has been one Brewer sighting so far this week in the Washington, D.C., area. Her whereabouts on Sunday and her plans for the rest of the week, however, are a mystery.

Brewer missed the certification Monday of Arizona’s 2012 election results. Bennett, who in his job as secretary of state is already responsible for overseeing elections, oversaw the official canvas.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov182012

Ron Barber, Former Gabrielle Giffords Aide, Wins Seat in Congress After Close Race

Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Democrat Ron Barber, former aide to Gabrielle Giffords, was declared the winner today of a tight congressional race in Southern Arizona.

Saturday morning, Barber’s opponent, Republican Martha McSally, called him and conceded the race, a spokesperson for the Democrat told ABCNews.com.

The hard-fought battle played out in a newly redrawn district in Southern Arizona that covers parts of Tucson and Pima County and all of Cochise County.

McSally, a retired Air Force colonel and the first female to fly in combat, ran on issues that included cutting taxes, reducing federal regulation and the sanctity of life. Barber touted his Southern Arizona roots to voters and his pledge to help strengthen the middle class.

In June, Barber won a special election in what was then Arizona’s 8th Congressional District, to take over Gabrielle Giffords’ seat following her resignation.

Barber, who is a  67-year-old grandfather, was shot in the thigh and cheek during a meet-and-greet with constituents of Giffords in January of 2011.  Six people were killed, while 13 others, including Giffords, who was hit in the head, were wounded.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov062012

Jeff Flake Wins Arizona Senate Race

United States Congress(NEW YORK) -- Rep. Jeff Flake will defeat Democrat Richard Carmona in what became a surprisingly competitive battle for Arizona's Senate seat, ABC News projects.

Republican Sen. Jon Kyl's surprise announcement that he would not seek another term left open a long-held seat in Arizona and gave Democrats one more -- albeit unlikely -- opportunity to pick up a Republican seat in the Senate.

But over the summer, the race between Carmona, who was a former surgeon general in George W. Bush's administration, and Flake, a five-term congressman from Arizona's 6th district, went from being strongly favored for Republicans to being closer than most expected.

Several polls showed Flake holding a moderate lead of 5 or 6 percentage points on the eve of the election, compared with the double-digit lead he held earlier in the year.

Carmona, an independent now running as a Democrat, was dubbed "the most interesting man in the world" in part because of his colorful life story and long resume that included his service as a Special Forces medic in Vietnam, as a SWAT team member and as a surgeon.

The race was a heavily negative one, with both candidates viciously attacking each other throughout the contest.

Flake aired ads casting Carmona as temperamental, difficult to work with and hostile to women. Flake has been cast as a "career politician," steeped in the partisan ways of Washington.

And on Election Day, Carmona's supporters accused Flake's campaign of making misleading robocalls to voters giving them wrong information about where and when they could vote.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct162012

Arizona Senate Race: Things Get Personal Between Candidates

Hemera/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) -- Senate ads have been dark and foreboding, if often boilerplate.  But Arizona’s Senate race has swiftly become one of the most intense and personal in the country, thanks to two new TV ads released last week by Republican Rep. Jeff Flake and Democrat Richard Carmona, who served as Surgeon General during the George W. Bush administration.

Rep. Flake’s campaign struck first.  Cristina Beato, a senior Health and Human Services official during the Bush years, appeared in a TV ad in which she accused Carmona of knocking loudly on her door late at night when she was his boss.

“There was an angry pounding on the door in the middle of the night.  I’m a single mom.  I feared for my kids and for myself,” Beato says in the ad.  “It was Richard Carmona, and I was his boss.  Carmona is not who he seems.  He has issues with anger, with ethics, and with women.  I have testified to this under oath to Congress.  Richard Carmona, should never, ever be in the U.S. Senate.”

Beato, who served as Acting Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary under Bush, told congressional investigators in 2007 that Carmona was an “extremely angry” person and a “living nightmare” to work with, Politico first reported in May.  Beato alleged two episodes in which Carmona had banged on her door, attempting to confront her over an issue on which they disagreed, Politico reported.

Carmona’s campaign denies the incident took place.

Beato made the accusations as Carmona testified that Bush health officials had politicized health issues, including the risks of tobacco.  Politico reported that Carmona had accused her of “carrying water” for the Bush administration and that the two top health officials developed an intense rivalry.  While Carmona wouldn’t name names in his congressional testimony, a half-dozen former HHS officials told The New York Times in 2007 that Beato was the one most likely to have interfered with health findings.

Carmona has responded with a TV ad featuring another of his former bosses.  In it, former SWAT commander Kathleen Brennan, under whom Carmona served in Pima County, Ariz., for years, vouches for Carmona’s treatment of women and attacks Flake.

"When I see a career politician like Jeff Flake attacking Rich Carmona, who has spent his life helping others, it’s despicable.  Congressman Flake should be ashamed,” Brennan says in the ad.

Carmona’s campaign has not only denied the episode -- “Never happened,” spokesman Andy Barr said -- but has suggested that Beato has a history of lying.  The campaign points to her stalled confirmation by a Democratic Senate amidst accusations that she fabricated parts of her resume, and to questions over Beato’s credibility raised by Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who chaired the committee to which both Beato and Carmona testified.

Jennifer Cabe, who served as Carmona’s communications director when he was Surgeon General, vouched for Carmona and accused Beato of lying at a press conference on Friday.

“I know these accusations are 100 percent false,” Cabe said, while Beato stood by her story and two former Bush officials praised her credibility in interviews with The Arizona Republic.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep112012

Pat Boone and Sheriff Joe’s Arizona ‘Birther’ Party Scrapped

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- The Greater Phoenix Tea Party Patriots group has pulled the plug on Pat Boone and Sheriff Joe Arpaio, canceling their Sept. 22 “Birther” bash at the city’s Celebrity Theatre “due to inadequate ticket sales.”

The venue’s website touts an “intimate atmosphere of this 2,650-seat theater in the round” with an “extremely rare revolving stage.”

Prices of entry ranged from $10, for tickets purchased in advance, to $25 if you wanted a “Meet and Greet” with the Maricopa County sheriff, who is pushing for a “Congressional investigation into the fraudulent documents produced by the [Obama] administration.”

The group’s website has posted a blog entry confirming the decision to nix the show.

“We apologize for any inconivienience [sic],” organizer Chris Rossiter wrote, promising that further probes into the validity of President Obama’s birth certificate “will be pursued in earnest.”

When contacted by ABC News, Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin said she had no idea that Arpaio, Boone, or Lt. Col. Terry Lakin, a doctor who spent five months in prison after he refused deployment to Afghanistan, were scheduled to headline the affiliate’s gathering.

“I didn’t know about it about until you told me 120 seconds ago,” Martin, who, along with Sarah Palin, was named to Time magazine’s 2010 “Most Influential” leaders list, told ABC News Tuesday. Tea Party Patriots Group leaders in Arizona did not respond to requests for comment.

It’s been an eventful summer for Arpaio, “America’s Toughest Sheriff.” On July 19, the same day he first appeared in court to face accusations he engaged in a systematic campaign of racial profiling, Arpaio convened a press conference in Phoenix, promising to unveil a big break in his “independent investigation” into the validity of the president’s birth certificate.

But supporters were to be disappointed. With no substantial revelations to report, he launched into a tirade against the White House.

“Show us the microfilm,” he said, dismissing the electronic birth certificate released last year by President Obama. "I said it a while back. Show us the microfilm and we’ll all go back home and forget this."

“We wanted to clear the President of the United States. That was my mission, but it hasn’t happened that way.”

Since then, the racial profiling suit has been dismissed and the feds have dropped a separate abuse-of-power investigation. But Arpaio still faces damaging charges that his office failed to pursue more than 400 sex crimes cases between 2004 and 2007.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun262012

VP Beat: Contenders on Arizona Immigration Ruling

Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- PORTMAN WEIGHS IN ON IMMIGRATION: ABC News’ Gregory Simmons reported on Sen. Rob Portman’s take Monday night on the Supreme Court’s immigration decision, saying he believed “the federal government has let us down.” 

“They still haven’t done it, and so the answer is to have a sensible immigration plan at the national level to help move the country forward,” Portman told ABC News. “That’s something that we need, a new leader.”  Asked if he’s being vetted for the vice presidential spot, Portman did not deny it, saying,  “I’m happy where I am. I really am. … I’m fortunate to represent our state in the Senate, and that’s where I intend to stay.”  Portman was attending a fundraiser on Romney’s behalf with Rep. Paul Ryan.

RUBIO ON IMMIGRATION: Sen. Marco Rubio released a statement Monday on the Supreme Court’s Arizona immigration law ruling. “Today’s decision on Arizona’s immigration law is a reminder of Washington’s failure to fix our broken immigration system.  If the federal government would do its job and address this issue, states like Arizona would not be compelled to address the violence and lawlessness stemming from the federal government’s dereliction of duty with respect to maintaining the sovereignty of our borders,” Rubio said. “While I maintain that states do have a constitutional right to pass laws to address public safety issues in their communities, I nonetheless believe the best way to solve the immigration issue is at the federal level.  Rather than have states enact their own unique immigration laws – and then spend precious time and taxpayer money litigating these matters, Washington should act legislatively to secure our border, implement a workable employment verification system, modernize our antiquated visa system and responsibly address the situation faced by a limited number of young people who were brought here by their parents as children and now find themselves without any legal status in the United States.”

HALEY CALLS AZ DECISION ‘GOOD NEWS’: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called the Supreme Court ruling on the Arizona immigration law “good news for South Carolina,” a state that has a law that allows  police officers to check the immigration status of people who are detained.  “If the federal government would do its job, the states wouldn’t have to – but that hasn’t happened. In South Carolina, we passed illegal immigration reform that told the rest of the country we’re a tolerant state but also a law-abiding state. That’s what this has been about for us – the rule of law – nothing more, nothing less,” Haley said in the statement. “Today’s court ruling is in part good news for South Carolina law enforcement. Now, they can do their job and verify that those suspected of being here illegally are actually here legally.”

SANDOVAL AND MARTINEZ: NEVADA AND NEW MEXICO DON’T NEED ARIZONA LAW:
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval chimed in on the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Arizona immigration law Monday, saying that there’s no place for a law like his neighbor state’s in Nevada, the Las Vegas Journal Review reported.  “I never thought a similar law was needed in Nevada,” Sandoval said. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez said she never supported an Arizona-style immigration law in her own border state, NECN reported, and said she understands the “frustration felt by Arizonans” as a result of the federal government’s inaction on immigration reform.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE TALKS POLITICS: Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice usually sticks to policy, not politics in her speeches, but as Yahoo News’ Chris Moody reported, Rice pivoted to talking politics and slammed President Obama on immigration during a speech at a fundraiser for ShePAC, a group committed to electing conservative women to Congress.  “This is a truly consequential election. This is perhaps a turning point for the country. I’m very often asked to speak about the foreign policy aspects and there are some key important foreign policy issues before us,” Rice said, according to Moody. “There are many foreign policy issues on the agenda, but we are not going to address any of those international challenges unless we get it right at home. And it’s not right at home right now, and the American people know it.”  Rice later continued to criticize the president’s handling of immigration, particularly his administration’s selective enforcement of immigration laws.  “Americans who come here from other places to be a part of that belief that you can come from humble circumstances and do great things, which is why we need an immigration policy that works,” Rice said. “But, by the way, we need one that the Congress and the president work out together, and we need to do something about access to education.”

N.J. BUDGET SHOWDOWN: N.J. Gov. Chris Christie and New Jersey Democrats are set for a budget showdown over tax cuts this week, as the governor opposes the millionaire’s tax cut and the state legislature must pass a budget by Saturday to keep the state government from shutting down, the Wall Street Journal reported.  “New Jersey Democrats pushed through a $31.7 billion budget in a party-line vote Monday, setting the stage for a possible veto by Republican Gov. Chris Christie later this week. The bill substitutes a property-tax credit for Christie’s proposal to cut income taxes by 10 percent, with a delay until revenue figures can be further studied later this year,” the Wall Street Journal’s Heather Haddon wrote.  “Christie has pledged to veto part or all of the Democrats’ budget, arguing that a tax cut shouldn’t be postponed. He said during a town-hall meeting on Friday that he was readying his ‘veto pen.’”

FUNDRAISING VEEPS: N.J. Gov. Chris Christie attends a fundraiser for Romney in Woodbridge, N.J., Tuesday evening, and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is part of a lunch for Romney in Washington, D.C. Tuesday afternoon.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun252012

Obama, Romney React to Ariz. Immigration Decision

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama was pleased by the Supreme Court’s ruling on Arizona’s contested immigration law, but is still concerned about one provision upheld by the court that allows state police officers to ask citizens in certain scenarios for their immigration status, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

“While the president is pleased with the decision by the Supreme Court to strike down much of the Arizona law, we remain concerned about how the Section 2 would be implemented and concerned about the impact it might have on-depending upon how it’s implemented-the impact implementation could have on civil rights,” Carney said, echoing what President Obama said in a statement shortly after the Supreme Court’s ruling this morning. “Obviously we’re committed to the protection of the civil rights of the American people.”

And Carney, who was speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One on the way to a campaign rally in New Hampshire, quickly pointed out the politics of the issue, attacking Republicans for flip-flopping on the issue.

“This president’s commitment to immigration reform is strong, his commitment to border security is strong and has been demonstrated by his record and he believes we need to take steps to provided the kind of comprehensive immigration reform Republicans have resisted. Congress has to act,” Carney said. “Unfortunately what we’ve seen is a retreat by leaders of the Republican party in these past several years from a position of advocating comprehensive immigration reform, to what we saw during the Republican primaries … was an embrace of the Arizona law as a model for the nation. A position that hardly suggests the desire for comprehensive bipartisan immigration reform,” he said.

The president’s rival, Republican Mitt Romney, has stayed mum to the point that it’s not clear if Romney supports the law the Supreme Court ruled on.  Or, if like the court, he agrees with parts of it and not with others.

In a short statement released after the Supreme Court decision, Romney said President Obama “has failed to provide any leadership on immigration.” And he pointed out that while candidate Obama promised comprehensive reform, President Obama has not been able to carry through.

Romney said at a debate in Arizona and sponsored by CNN that a different Arizona immigration law that requires employers to verify a worker’s legal status should be a model for the nation. But he has not specifically said if he supports the Arizona’s policy – affirmed today by the Supreme Court – of asking people stopped by local police for immigration documentation.

Asked repeatedly today whether Romney supports the Arizona immigration law, and what he thinks of the parts overturned by the court, Romney spokesman Rick Gorka said that Romney believes states have the right to draft immigration laws of their own when the federal government fails to do so.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jun252012

What the Arizona Immigration Decision Means

Scott Olson/Getty ImagesBy TERRY MORAN, Anchor, ABC News Nightline

(WASHINGTON) -- Let’s break down the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Arizona immigration law like this:

Institutionally:  A near-total victory for the federal government. This is a sweeping affirmation of federal power over immigration law. Arizona, and every other state, can’t make new immigration policy by making it a crime to be in the United States illegally. States can’t even make laws that interfere with federal immigration policies or principles. The court severely limited state “experimentation” in this area, and future presidents and Congresses will be grateful to the Obama administration for bringing this challenge. Bottom line: There will be no crazy-quilt, patchwork bunch of state laws addressing the problem of illegal immigration in America. The question was settled at Appomattox in 1865.

Politically:  A split decision. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and other supporters of the law can rightly proclaim that the court upheld their main goal: to use the state police and other state law-enforcement resources to address the crisis of illegal immigration in their communities. Never mind that the court struck down so much else in the law. Never mind that the court remains skeptical that even the one controversial provision that was upheld can actually work on the ground in a way that passes constitutional muster. Right now, Arizona police can get in the game of immigration enforcement, in a limited way. But President Obama can claim real constitutional vindication (see above). And Obama can use the ruling as a whole to rally Hispanic voters to his cause. He fought for them (he can argue). He was on their side right down the line.

Practically:  Less than meets the eye. As of today, Arizona police can check the immigration status of every person reasonably stopped in the course of keeping public order in the state. But what can they do with that information? There’s no state crime on the books any more. States can’t deport people. The feds do that. All the Arizona cops can do is inform federal immigration authorities if they round up an illegal immigrant. And the feds are perfectly free to ignore them. That’s a lot of hoo-ha, and a lot of police paperwork, for a pretty trifling payoff. How much effort will Arizona police departments put into enforcement? How will training to avoid the problem of racial-profiling affect enforcement? How long can police detain someone while they check her immigration status (the court is especially concerned about this)? How will Arizona residents change their behavior knowing that they might be asked to prove they are in the country legally? How those questions are answered will determine the practical impact of this decision.

Emotionally:
  This law was designed to create a class of citizens in Arizona that would get special police attention, to make things so difficult for illegal immigrants that they would deport themselves. By upholding the portion of the law that allows local authorities to demand immigration documents, the Supreme Court of the United States just said it’s OK for Arizona to do that. From an emotional standpoint, this decision might deepen the divide among Americans on this issue.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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