Well that didn't take long.
The first lawsuits have been filed challenging Arizona's recently passed immigration bill. One was filed by Martin Escobar, a Tucson police officer with 15 years of experience. He argues that the Arizona immigration law violates several constitutionally protected rights and could in fact hinder police investigations. A second lawsuit was filed by a Latino Clergy group seeking an injunction to prevent Arizona from enforcing the law.
As previously discussed on this blog, the Arizona immigration law has been a major source of controversy, with two cities in California currently calling for boycotts of the state.
As the Associated Press reports, Republican Gov. Jan Brewer recently signed the new immigration bill that critics claim is unconstitutional and fear will lead to racial profiling, into law. Brewer and other supporters counter that the Arizona immigration law is necessary because the federal government has failed to act to stop illegal immigration.
Conservative legislators in Oklahoma are considering a new immigration bill similar to the one passed in Arizona. In Texas, Rep. Debbie Riddle, a Republican, said she will introduce a measure similar to the Arizona law in the January legislative session. Republicans running for governor in both Colorado and Minnesota have expressed support for the crackdown.
A new Gallup poll shows that public opinion on the matter is divided.
Fifty-one percent of those polled nationwide who said they have heard of the new law favor the measure, which grants police to right to ask to see proof of citizenship from anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant. Thirty-nine percent said they oppose it. Three-quarters of the Republicans and half of the independents polled said they approve of the law. Only 34 percent of Democrats said the same.
The debate shows no signs of slowing down. We will continue to keep you informed as the story develops.