Hundreds of Arizonans massed outside the state’s capitol building to protest the recently passed, controversial bill enforcing strict measures to prevent illegal immigration. Approved by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Friday, the legislation requires immigrants to carry immigration documents at all times and requires police to stop and question people if there is reason to suspect that they are illegal immigrants. Officials say that the bill is meant to crack down on the noted illegal immigration problem in Arizona.
Already, many protestors have called the new law unconstitutional and immoral. Many national organizations, especially Latino and Hispanic groups, have publicly expressed their outrage. Some claim that the “reasonable suspicion” clause amounts to legalizing racial profiling by police.
Notable figures such as the Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and Reverend Al Sharpton have joined in criticizing the bill, with the former promising and the latter demanding that legal action be taken against the state of Arizona.
Experts have predicted far reaching consequences for the bill, including an outflow of both legal and illegal immigrants from Arizona and the possibility of other similarly-affected states on the border with Mexico enacting similar legislature.