Arizona’s Immigration Law: Coming to Pennsylvania?
Unless there’s some successful legal challenge in the next three weeks or so, Arizona’s controversial immigration law, the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, goes into effect on July 29, 2010. Formally introduced as Senate Bill 1070, the law is intended to enforce federal immigration laws against illegal aliens. Law enforcement officials would be required, during a lawful stop, detention or arrest, to require proof of immigration status if there is a reasonable suspicion that an individual was an illegal alien. It becomes a state misdemeanor crime to be an alien in Arizona without required documentation.
There is, of course, varying sentiment about the law’s intentions an practical effect. It remains to be seen whether racial profiling will result. What is known, however, is how the law’s passage affects other states. Pennsylvania is among the first to follow Arizona’s lead and introduce similar legislation. House Bill 2479, if passed, would operate quite similarly to Arizona’s law. South Carolina, Minnesota, Rhode Island and it hers have similar pending legislation.
So, the bottom line is we should watch carefully what happens to Arizona, because sooner or later, a similar law is coming to our neighborhoods.