Arizona Braces for S.B. 1070
If you live near the Tampa Bay area, many are still buzzing about the Rays' Matt Garza's no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers Monday night. In Chicago, the big story is closing arguments in the corruption trial of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. If you live in Arizona, though, the only story is this Thursday's planned implementation of S.B. 1070, otherwise known as the very controversial, and much praised or maligned depending on who you ask, immigration law.
In a nutshell, the law gives police the authority to check the immigration status of those suspected of being in the United States illegally if they are stopped any number of legal reasons, even as simple as a traffic violation such as running a stop sign. No matter where you stand when it comes to S.B. 1070, no one can deny that it has sparked a very emotional and boisterous debate.
As government officials in Arizona prepare for Thursday, MSNBC is reporting that the law is "creating a potentially volatile mix of police, illegal immigrants and thousands of activists, many planning to show up without identification as a show of solidarity." Perhaps some of these individuals may, for a moment, want to consider Maricopa County, home to Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the man known for erecting a tent city at his jail in Phoenix, instituting volunteer chain gangs, and making inmates wear pink underwear. According to the MSNBC article, Arpaio is planning on holding an "immigration sweep" by dispatching a number of his deputies to seek out traffic infractions and people with outstanding warrants regardless of whether or not a federal judge puts a stop to the law before it ever gets started.
It sounds to me like Sheriff Joe isn't playing around, but in all honesty, why should he? According to Rasmussen Reports, a majority of voters, 61 percent to be precise, "favor passage of a law like Arizona’s in their own state." Rasmussen goes on to state that 56 percent are opposed to the Justice Department's lawsuit challenging S.B. 1070; 54 percent feel that the DOJ should instead file suit against so-called "sanctuary cities" that provide safe haven for illegal immigrants; and 61 percent of voters say federal funding to sanctuary cities should be eliminated.Continued on the next page