City and community leaders have spoken out on the Supreme Court’s decision Monday to uphold a key part of Senate Bill 1070.
The higher courts upheld a key part of SB 1070 that requires police to attempt to determine the immigration status of a person they have stopped if there is "reasonable suspicion'' that person is in the country illegally. The provision also requires determination of immigration status of anyone placed under arrest, also considered the bill’s most controversial element.
While saying that the provision is a small step in the “right direction,” Councilman Sal DiCiccio said the victory has not yet been won.
“I think people want to see a sustainable victory, not a political one,” said DiCiccio, of immigration and Arizona as a whole.
Kyrsten Sinema, a Congressional District 9 candidate, who voted against SB 1070, said in a statement that it is “a misguided solution to a very real problem.”
“The problem is that Congress has abdicated its responsibilities to improve border security and to fix our broken immigration system,” she said.
The three parts of the bill struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional make it a state crime for an immigrant to carry papers, allow in some situations for warrant-less arrest, and forbid an illegal immigrant from working in Arizona.
With Monday’s ruling, a question of racial profiling is still a main concern.
According to Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia, officers have gone through training on how to enforce the laws regarding SB 1070 since July 2010. Garcia said that training will end in seven weeks.
As for a change to be seen by the public and residents with police’s enforcement, Garcia said it would be “very minimal” following the ruling.
Mayor Greg Stanton said in a press conference Monday that he trusts the city’s police department, and insists that training officers in how to implement the law without violating people’s civil rights will be the combat to avoiding racial profiling.
“We're not perfect, we can always improve, but I think with the right command staff and the right training, we're going to minimize the chance of that happening,” Stanton said.
Diana Martinez is freelancing this summer for the Ahwatukee Foothills News, reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @_dianamartinez.