Arizona immigration bill further divides U.S.

13:40, April 27, 2010      

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The immigration-enforcement bill signed into law by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is the toughest of its kind in the U.S., which is expected to further divide the country of immigrants.

The Arizona immigration law has become front-page stories in many local newspapers throughout the country, because it touches on several issues which are the concern of all Americans:

Is it proper or constitutional for local law enforcement agencies to enforce immigration law, which traditionally is a federal law and only federal law enforcement agencies will do that?

Will enforcement of immigration law by local police become racial profiling?

Do local police agencies have adequate training to enforce the federal law?

There is no question that the battle will quickly shift from the state Capitol to the courts, where opponents plan to challenge it as an unconstitutional intrusion on federal authority and a violation of civil rights.

While proponents defend the legislation as legally sound, critics say the U.S. Constitution makes it clear that the federal government alone has the responsibility to enact and enforce immigration laws.
Some fear other constitutional rights will be trampled through racial profiling and that vital federal money will be diverted from other national priorities.

"This law places all minorities, including Asian Pacific Americans, under constant suspicion, relegating them to second-class status," said Stewart Kwoh, president and executive director of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) in Los Angeles.

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