“Papers Please,” Goes Live

SB 1070 has been hotly contested both politically and legally for years, but on September 5th, it was decided by Federal Judge Susan Boltan that the most controversial part of it would be enforceable by Arizona Police Officers. Opponents are worried that the law will lead to racial profiling, but Boltan had to keep in mind the Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year which ruled this provision constitutional, at least for now.

According to the article on HUFF Post Politics, proponents of the law proved that until 1070 goes into effect, it is not feasible to prove that it causes someone’s civil rights to be violated. Governor Jan Brewer explained to the judge that the police have received specialized training that will allow them to uphold and enforce this section of the law without resorting to racial profiling.

The law allows police, who reasonably suppose that a suspect is not in this country legally, to ask that suspect to provide documentation that they are in the country legally. Everyone will have to wait and see how it goes. In the meantime, Judge Bolton did grant a “preliminary injunction against a statute making it illegal to harbor individuals suspected of being in the country without documents.” In other words, if you have a cousin from Canada living with you and they are not properly documented, you can’t get arrested for letting him stay with you. Yet.
The Phoenix Police Department will be under deep scrutiny as the world watches Arizona and how SB1070 plays out, not as a law on paper, but as part of the police department’s play book.

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