April 20th, 2010
01:11 PM ET

Latino lawmakers urge veto of Arizona immigration law

Latino members of Congress Tuesday called on Arizona's governor to kill a state bill that would require police to determine whether a person is in the United States legally, arguing that it unconstitutionally authorizes discrimination.

"When you institutionalize a law like this one, you are targeting and discriminating at a wholesale level against a group of people," Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona, told reporters.

Grijalva and Rep. Luis Gutierrez, the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus's Task Force on Immigration Reform, said Republican Gov. Jan Brewer should veto the measure, which the state Senate approved Monday.

The bill would require immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there's reason to suspect they're in the United States illegally. It also targets those who hire illegal immigrant day laborers or knowingly transports them.

Grijalva, whose district runs from the Mexican border to the outskirts of Phoenix, said the legislation "is not just mean-spirited, it is directed at a specific population." And Gutierrez, D-Illinois, said the measure infringes on the federal government's authority over immigration laws.

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Filed under: Immigration • U.S.
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Bill

    Regarding Laura's comment – Yep, they probably will have the audacity to investigate possible illegal immigrants.

    April 20, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jojo

    Every State should have the right to determine if a person is an illegal or not, and checks should be in place to make fingerprinting on the spot a mandatory caution. There should be a data base for prints of proven illegals, and if your print shows up, you get tossed in jail, and then immediately deported. Enough of this pandering to people who only cost us $$$$ and grief with gangs and thieves. There are many organizations, including religious groups that get illegals welfare benefits, medical, housing and food stamps. If you think this is not true, volunteer at one of the giveaway locations (churches). It opened my eyes.
    There also has to be a retraction of the law that says if you are born in the US, you are automatically a citizen. If you are born of legal parents, then you are legal. If born to illegals, you also are illegal. How simple is this?
    If it's the law, live within the law.

    April 20, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. connie goodner

    I say Bravo to Arizona for having the B-s to do something about the illegals entering our country unrestricted. When I lived in Germany as an American citizen I had to carry my ID at all times. It was called an AGO card. We didn't moan and groan about our rights being violated. We did what was legal and we sure as hell didn't get any perks from the Germans. If we didn't live on an Army base we were required to live off base and we paid for everything. There wasn't any signs in English or assistance in any way. Go for it Arizona...........

    April 20, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. The Shadow

    Who said that at any given time, only Hispanics would be requested of their ID's? This applies towards everyone period. If it just so happens that there are more arrests of Hispanics, that means most likely there are more of that decent in percentage per population than other decents. If your area is 99% of one decent and 1000 people get ID'd and 99% of them busted are of that decent exactly how is that profiling? Thats just straight numbers and odds. Anyone who does not get it needs to go back to school and stop trying to dumb down the population and make it sound like everyone is a racist just because we demand our citizens be protected. A stupid argument and brought on by law breaking advocates and those lawmakers who bring it up should be tossed out and charged with treason.

    April 21, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. KC

    Just because they say "Latino law makers" doesn't necessarily mean they're targeting a race. Just because the majority of the illegal alien population in Arizona is latino or spanish, doesn't mean they're targeting them. This isn't a RACE issue, this is a CITIZEN issue.

    April 21, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dave

    The law, as I understand it, will be unconstitutional, violating both due process and unreasonable search and seizure.
    The fundamental problem is that there is no way to articulate a "reasonable suspicion that someone may be in the country illegally" that is not discriminatory. I.e., what criteria would a police officer use to establish reasonable suspicion:
    – Speaking a foreign language? Driving an old car? Walking, or riding a bicycle? Standing outside Home Depot looking for work? Camping? Living in a crowded house? Livign out of your car? The point is that none of these activities (or even a combination of them) are something that can arguably indicate a reasonable suspicion of being in the country illegally.
    That's not to say that if, when stopped for reasonable suspicion of something else, an officer might not determine that someone is illegal. But to allow an initial detention and seach (because when an officer stops you that's what it is) based only on the suspicion of illegal status, cannot pass constitutional muster.

    For those who talk about drivers licenses – carrying the drivers license is a condition of your privilege to drive. Don't want to carry a license? Fine, just don't drive. There's no parallel.

    The closest parallel to this law in recent history was South Africa's apartheid-era "pass laws." Blacks had to have papers (the "pass") which gave them permission to be in a white area. If you were black, any police officer could stop you and you had to produce your pass or risk arrest and deportation back to your "homeland." Is that the America you thought you were living in?

    April 21, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Outraged.

    JT vvvvv
    Okay, Nazi Part Two. Yes they WILL be examining each Hispanic around the state to prove that they are legal. It's STUPID. Get over yourselves!! I hear the Speech that the governor gave, it was dumb. She couldn't respond to the reporter to ask her "How can you tell who is an illegal alien without basing it on their color, race, ethnicity, or for ANY looks for that matter?" Answer me that.

    April 23, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Proud Democrat

    Best thing the Governor of that state could have ever done. The rest of the states need to do the same thing. These people are here illegally, they are breaking the law for each step they take, and they've been living on us taxpayes for too long. Go home to your own country or at least take the time to fix yourself and be legal. Thank you Governor.

    April 23, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. D Berry

    What is the big deal about the Arizona Law? Federal law already calls for aliens to carry a passport or "Green card" now? It seems like the President and most of those carring on about this law don't even know the existing federal law,

    April 24, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. J Hernandez

    I am an AmericanCitizen, my wife American Citizen born in San Francisco. My kids Americans born in USA. and it will be very very very bad to be stop by a COP whose job is to enfoce civil laws and being ask for proof of weather or not I am American. People who have not experience being discriminated in your own land cannot understand how it feels. When I was a kid my Dad will be discriminated by his looks. He tried to take a Bus in LA and was told to sit on the back because only WHITES could sit in the front. I am working for a better America and this law is definetly profiling people by the way you look. Let's be real if you look WHITE you won't be stop. If you look HISPANIC you will be ask for you ID. It is sad that I have worked all my life to create a better place for every American and there are still people out there who just don't get it.

    April 27, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  11. GENE

    it looks like the only people protesting are the ones that is not supposed to be here anyway look at all of the comments people are tired of it pay heed MR PRES

    April 27, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. Red

    @GENE, OR maybe they're just people concerned about our basic rights to be treated as a human being.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:10 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jose A

    Viva Arizona, the other sates should follow !!!! I speak, write, read Spanish so what I am not afraid if they stop me. I have my papers in order. do you have your documents?
    Trece millones de ilegales es una invasion..

    April 28, 2010 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  14. S.Montgomery

    I'm a black woman and I am in favor of the law. Is it perfect? No maybe not but it sends a message that is very much needed. Reading the post some people think it is racist to ask for id, but guess what in the inner city it happens a lot. As a matter of fact it is against the law to walk around and NOT have a form of ID on you. So if a cop stops a group of black men because they look or are acting suspicious they better have some ID. I have seen cops respond to a call about a fight among white men and guess what "You got some ID" comes out of their mouth. So what is the big deal about doing the same thing to the people in Arizona? The state is next to a country other than the US. They have tons of illegals coming in daily. We can't ignore the news stories of the drug cartel murders going on which will surely spill over into Arizona and other boardering states. Do you want those killers coming over here illegal and living good and killing us with no remorse as they did when they were in Mexico. We have enough of our own homegrown crime. And it's not just Mexicans, more people from other countries are entering the US via Mexico because it is the easiest way in. And i dont know about anyone else but I am sick and tired of seeing mini Mexicos pop up in my town. Explain how a group of people can come to this country crying poor and open up businesses in the blink of an eye. Our laws are screwed up. Our towns and counties are giving them money to open these businesses and not pay taxes for something like 5 to 7 yrs, then when their time is up suddenly the business changes names and the process starts over again. Like i said the law may not be perfect but it's a start and the time has come to stop sitting on our hands and do NOTHING.

    April 28, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  15. peter Nguyen

    by the time this law going in effect,most of illigals had move out from AR to other states and this problem keep gettin on and on and on-– it won't do no good unless it 'd becom federal law,

    April 28, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
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