Arizona Governor Revises Immigraton Law

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has signed a follow-up bill to the new immigration law that she says should ease fears of racial profiling.

“These new statements make it crystal clear and undeniable that racial profiling is illegal, and will not be tolerated in Arizona,” she said in a statement.

The changes include one strengthening restrictions against using race or ethnicity as the basis for questioning by police and inserts those same restrictions in other parts of the law.

Another change states that immigration-status questions would follow a law enforcement officer’s stopping, detaining or arresting a person while enforcing another law. The earlier law had referred to a “contact” with police.

Another change specifies that possible violations of local civil ordinances can trigger questioning on immigration status.

Stephen Montoya, a Phoenix lawyer representing a police officer whose lawsuit was one of three filed Thursday to challenge the law, said the changes wouldn’t derail the lawsuit because the state is still unconstitutionally trying to regulate immigration, a federal responsibility.

Brewer issued a statement on the signing of HB 2162:

“Taking into consideration questions and concerns that have been expressed about the SB1070 legislation I signed last week, today I signed HB 2162 which defines and clarifies even further the proper implementation and enforcement of the law. These changes specifically answer legal questions raised by some who expressed fears that the original law would somehow allow or lead to racial profiling. These new amendments make it crystal clear and undeniable that racial profiling is illegal, and will not be tolerated in Arizona.

“I am proud that the Arizona Legislature has listened carefully to everyone’s concerns, and, in a gesture of statesmanship, acted swiftly and appropriately to lay to rest questions over the possibility of racial profiling.

“Arizona is acting responsibly to address a border security crisis that is not of our making. The federal government’s failure requires us to act to protect our citizens, and we are doing just that.”

Both the original law and the addition to it are scheduled to take effect July 29.

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