AZ immigration law may be too hard

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: Arizona lawmakers aren't waiting for the federal government to tackle immigration reform. A bill that's likely to pass in the state legislature would take a hard line with illegal immigrants. Some say it goes too far. Marketplace's Jeff Tyler has more.


Jeff Tyler: Under the proposal, undocumented immigrants could be arrested under beefed-up trespassing laws. And working as a day-laborer would be a crime.

Russell Pearce: We make it a misdemeanor for anybody to solicit employment.

That's Arizona state Senator Russell Pearce, who sponsored the bill:

Pearce: It will be the toughest enforcement bill in the nation.

Maybe too tough. Some critics of the bill foresee lawsuits related to racial profiling. And the bill would allow anyone to sue local agencies for failing to enforce immigration laws.

That could be expensive, says Mike Fraizer, a board member of the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police:

Mike Fraizer: If found guilty, let's say, and it's been several months and you're being fined anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 a day, a fine like that could almost put some governmental entities out of business.

Frazier also worries that rounding up undocumented immigrants will pose a burden for smaller police forces, potentially slowing response times for 911 emergencies.

I'm Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeff Tyler is a reporter for Marketplace’s Los Angeles bureau, where he reports on issues related to immigration and Latin America.

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