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Phoenix, Tucson officers sue over Arizona's new immigration law

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Filed: Country: Philippines
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by Ofelia Madrid -

The Arizona Republic

David Salgado remembers when, as a 9-year-old boy, he would head out at 4 a.m. to pick up newspapers for his south Phoenix delivery route.

Most mornings, the Phoenix police officer in charge of patrolling Salgado's neighborhood was there, too.

"He would be parked in his car, and it gave me a good feeling knowing he was looking out for me," he said.

Now a Phoenix police officer himself, Salgado, 51, patrols the Phoenix streets just a few miles from where he grew up and where his mother still lives.

The officer has worked to establish relationships and trust with the majority of Hispanic residents in the central Phoenix Garfield neighborhood.

That trust began to crack days after Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law Senate Bill 1070, which makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally and requires police to check the immigration status of anyone they have reasonable suspicion of being in the country illegally. It goes into effect July 29.

Salgado filed suit last month in U.S. District Court against Brewer and Phoenix. In his claim, he says that to enforce the law, he would violate the rights of Hispanics and be forced to expend his own time and resources to familiarize himself with the law's requirements.

"The problem is this is an immigration-law issue, and for me to enforce immigration is going to be difficult because of training," Salgado said in an interview with The Arizona Republic. "It's going to take away from me concentrating on more serious crimes."

Salgado's lawyer, Augustine Jimenez, said he expects the new law to be found unconstitutional.

Jimenez said the law creates an environment in which people will think they are being racially profiled.

"Even if an officer acts in non-racial terms, you're going to get lawsuits," Jimenez said. "People are going to feel profiled."

The Phoenix City Attorney's Office said it had not been served with a suit and declined to comment further.

When Brewer signed the statute, she directed the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, the agency in charge of training guidelines for a majority of Arizona's police officers, to develop officer training to properly implement the new immigration law.

She has since defended the new law and criticized what she described as "mistruths" about the new law that have caused criticism around the country.

The law requires that an officer engaged in a "lawful stop, detention or arrest" also ask about a person's legal status when reasonable suspicion exists that the person is in the U.S. illegally. Race, color or national origin cannot be considered "except to the extent permitted by the United States or Arizona Constitution."

Polls have indicated that most Arizonans support the measure.

The suit is not the only one in Arizona filed by a police officer seeking to stop the law.

Tucson police Officer Martin Escobar, 45, filed a separate suit in federal court against the governor, attorney general, Tucson and Pima County.

A spokeswoman for the state Attorney General's Office said the office hadn't been served with a suit and therefore had no comment.

Escobar's suit claims the new law compels him to engage in racial profiling to prove legal status and could hinder investigations because he often depends on cooperation and information from Hispanic witnesses and victims. Escobar patrols the southern area of Tucson, where Hispanics make up more than 50 percent of the population.

"When I'm dealing with people, race isn't the focus of my investigation," he said. "Domestic violence, assault, robbery, burglary - that's our focus as local police officers. It's never popped into my mind to ask legal status."

At a time when Tucson police are facing a budget crisis that has officers taking furlough days, Escobar questioned whether they'll receive adequate immigration training.

"Now, they're asking us to step up and enforce federal laws. That's the expertise of the Border Patrol and ICE," he said. "They don't investigate domestic violence and robberies. And I don't have the training to investigate immigration."

Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris has expressed concern that the new law could strain local resources, while the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, of which Salgado is a member, has spoken in favor of the new law, saying it is critical in giving officers the ability to question people about their immigration status.

Salgado said he first heard about SB 1070 when Phoenix police officers started escorting droves of high-school students who were ditching class to protest at the state Capitol.

About a week later, he was watching television when Brewer signed the bill.

"I said: 'Let me read this bill. She signed it, and now I'm going to have to enforce it.' "

Salgado said he believes the law is too vague because it doesn't exclude victims or witnesses from being questioned or turned over to immigration officials when finished with the investigation. The 19-year police veteran also had never seen a statute in which anyone could file a lawsuit against an officer and the department if either were suspected of not doing their job.

Conversations with his fiancee, mother and other family members followed.

"I explained to them what I felt as an officer and my duty as far as helping the community," Salgado said. "I'm doing the right thing. When you do something with a good heart and good intentions, you will never fail."

He worries about people like his 78-year-old mother, a U.S. citizen, who starts speaking in Spanish whenever she becomes nervous, he said.

"You're going to have families, three, four, five generations in the U.S. questioned," he said. "It's going to happen."

Then, there is concern about Hispanic residents, legal and not, no longer going to police out of fear.

"They fear we're going to take action on their status," Salgado said. "It's a large concern as an officer because you built a trust that went down the drain."

Salgado has already seen a change.

"I was driving around (in the patrol car) the Sunday after she signed it, and nobody would wave to me," Salgado said. "They used to wave."

http://www.azcentral...r-lawsuits.html

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
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I hope his sorry a$$ gets fired.

You're suing because you'll have to do YOUR JOB in knowing the law?

What a fvcked up country we live in.

"People are going to feel profiled?"

For what? You break the law, then they question you immigration status after you cannot prove valid ID? How is that being profiled.

This whole thing is so damned stupid. Any officer who opposes this should QUIT or be FIRED if they don't comply. Suing for a job requirement? What the hell.

Edited by Paul and Vanessa

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"The problem is this is an immigration-law issue, and for me to enforce immigration is going to be difficult because of training," Salgado said in an interview with The Arizona Republic. "It's going to take away from me concentrating on more serious crimes."

Way to go to spin an issue. He is not going to be taken away from concentrating on more serious crime. The question of immigration status will be dealt with while investigating those more serious crimes.

Do your job, Officer Salgado. Uphold the law. Don't just uphold the laws you like and be damned with those you don't.


Don't interrupt me when I'm talking to myself

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I hope his sorry a$$ gets fired.

You're suing because you'll have to do YOUR JOB in knowing the law?

What a fvcked up country we live in.

"People are going to feel profiled?"

For what? You break the law, then they question you immigration status after you cannot prove valid ID? How is that being profiled.

This whole thing is so damned stupid. Any officer who opposes this should QUIT or be FIRED if they don't comply. Suing for a job requirement? What the hell.

Agreed.


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A police officer's job is to enforce the laws. He is in law enforcement. If he doesn't want to do that, he should quit. If he won't quit, he should be fired.


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The cooperation aspect is an issue, like it or not. The law may or may not change how local officers approach their job--my guess is that very little will change--but the fact remains that people who are in fear of being detained and deported are much less likely to cooperate w/ authorities. I do know people in law enforcement here, who say, "Of course we're not going to demand papers from a witness or a crime victim--that's just not done." But try convincing would-be witnesses of this. The burden is now on the local departments to assure their illegal residents that making themselves known to law enforcement to help with a criminal case doesn't equal detention & deportation. It's not as simple an issue as many would make it.


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Its never been in the police's power to verify citizenship and legal status. I understand this officer completely. He has no tools to properly identify an illegal immigrant and yet he is expected to nab them without racial profiling. Simply put, Arizona police are the real victims. Their hands are tied and yet both sides want to crucify them. On one side, you have morons wanting them fired for being afraid to enforce this new law and on the other you have a group of people, citizens, who will sue and potentially try to get the officer fired if he/she mistakenly takes in a USC.

They are damned if they do, and damned if they don't. What a lovely position to put Arizona's finest.

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Its never been in the police's power to verify citizenship and legal status. I understand this officer completely. He has no tools to properly identify an illegal immigrant and yet he is expected to nab them without racial profiling. Simply put, Arizona police are the real victims. Their hands are tied and yet both sides want to crucify them. On one side, you have morons wanting them fired for being afraid to enforce this new law and on the other you have a group of people, citizens, who will sue and potentially try to get the officer fired if he/she mistakenly takes in a USC.

They are damned if they do, and damned if they don't. What a lovely position to put Arizona's finest.

And that is the basic misinterpretation in play here. He doesn't have to "nab" the illegal immigrant. They are already "nabbed". The immigration status only comes into play once they have been stopped, or arrested, for another offence.

And calling people "morons" for wanting a police officer to enforce laws does you no favours at all.


Don't interrupt me when I'm talking to myself

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And that is the basic misinterpretation in play here. He doesn't have to "nab" the illegal immigrant. They are already "nabbed". The immigration status only comes into play once they have been stopped, or arrested, for another offence.

And calling people "morons" for wanting a police officer to enforce laws does you no favours at all.

Yes "stopped". Did you know that you can legally be "stopped" walking on the sidewalk, "stopped" does not equal a crime in progress. Arrest? sure no problem. I didn't say the bold. What I said was "morons wanting them fired".

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Yes "stopped". Did you know that you can legally be "stopped" walking on the sidewalk, "stopped" does not equal a crime in progress. Arrest? sure no problem. I didn't say the bold. What I said was "morons wanting them fired".

And with the probable exception of Maricopa County, no police officer is going to stop someone just because they "looked at me in a funny way".

Then again, maybe you've never seen this .....


Don't interrupt me when I'm talking to myself

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And with the probable exception of Maricopa County, no police officer is going to stop someone just because they "looked at me in a funny way".

Then again, maybe you've never seen this .....

Unfortunately, unless they rewrite the law a third time to remove the words "stop, or detain" and leave arrest. Then there is no saying it won't happen.

Ironically, if the law was used with just the term "arrest" it would work just fine. After all, you can be arrested for driving without a valid license.

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And that is the basic misinterpretation in play here. He doesn't have to "nab" the illegal immigrant. They are already "nabbed". The immigration status only comes into play once they have been stopped, or arrested, for another offence.

When an officer is in that situation and decides to ask the person to verify their citizenship, do you know what is acceptable verification? For example, a 2 yr. Conditional Green Card that on its surface shows it to be expired even though that person already applied for the Lifting of Conditions.

I've heard some argue here that an in-state driver's license is acceptable ID, but I know for my own wife, she was legally able to obtain a DL with just her 2 year Conditional Green Card, so technically someone can overstay their visa and still have a legal driver's license.

This is just an example of the kinds legal immigration problems that will make it a nightmare for Arizona law enforcement because for one, half of those who are illegal in this country have overstayed their visas, while others, like my wife, were relying on their expired 2 year Green Card while their Lifting of Conditions is processed.

Setting aside any civil rights issues on just how a local police officer makes the jump from a routine stop to asking someone for verification of their citizenship, this further complicates local law enforcement's duty, and then gives the right for citizens to sue a particular officer for not verifying someone they suspect may be here illegally.

Edited by El Buscador

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When an officer is in that situation and decides to ask the person to verify their citizenship, do you know what is acceptable verification? For example, a 2 yr. Conditional Green Card that on its surface shows it to be expired even though that person already applied for the Lifting of Conditions.

I've heard some argue here that an in-state driver's license is acceptable ID, but I know for my own wife, she was legally able to obtain a DL with just her 2 year Conditional Green Card, so technically someone can overstay their visa and still have a legal driver's license.

This is just an example of the kinds legal immigration problems that will make it a nightmare for Arizona law enforcement because for one, half of those who are illegal in this country have overstayed their visas, while others, like my wife, were relying on their expired 2 year Green Card while their Lifting of Conditions is processed.

Setting aside any civil rights issues on just how a local police officer makes the jump from a routine stop to asking someone for verification of their citizenship, this further complicates local law enforcement's duty, and then gives the right for citizens to sue a particular officer for not verifying someone they suspect may be here illegally.

It shows me that the Federal government has failed to adequately do its job on multiple fronts. They fail to enforce laws against illegal immigration and fail to competently support legal immigration as well. Legal foreigners in our country should have the resources to adequately comply with existing law and easily prove they are legal. By your example they don't (but my foreign wife and stepdaughter were able to document their compliance at all times in our case). Instead of wasting all your time whining, complaining, and cheerleading that we should accommodate illegal aliens for the shortcomings of the Federal government to support their obligation to legal immigrants, you should be hammering for reforms to help legal immigrants instead of cheerleading for the abetting of illegal ones.

If the Federal government is not up to the task or unwilling to expend the resources to adequately and competently administer immigration policy, maybe we need to reduce it to a level they can manage competently? Obviously they don't and haven't for a long, long time. I've said that immigration levels have been too high for too long. With rampant long termed US unemployment, now should be the best time to get things in order and take a breather. Your open borders mentality is not the answer to this chronic problem.

My solution does not hamper US citizens from bringing foreign spouses and minor children to the USA, but does rethink the notion that foreigners should be able to chain migrate their entire village to the USA regardless of the benefit or detriment to our country. It's not anti-immigrant...it's common sense.


"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."

"...for the system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the end of the process."

US Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-TX)

Testimony to the House Immigration Subcommittee, February 24, 1995

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It shows me that the Federal government has failed to adequately do its job on multiple fronts. They fail to enforce laws against illegal immigration and fail to competently support legal immigration as well. Legal foreigners in our country should have the resources to adequately comply with existing law and easily prove they are legal. By your example they don't (but my foreign wife and stepdaughter were able to document their compliance at all times in our case). Instead of wasting all your time whining, complaining, and cheerleading that we should accommodate illegal aliens for the shortcomings of the Federal government to support their obligation to legal immigrants, you should be hammering for reforms to help legal immigrants instead of cheerleading for the abetting of illegal ones.

If the Federal government is not up to the task or unwilling to expend the resources to adequately and competently administer immigration policy, maybe we need to reduce it to a level they can manage competently? Obviously they don't and haven't for a long, long time. I've said that immigration levels have been too high for too long. With rampant long termed US unemployment, now should be the best time to get things in order and take a breather. Your open borders mentality is not the answer to this chronic problem.

My solution does not hamper US citizens from bringing foreign spouses and minor children to the USA, but does rethink the notion that foreigners should be able to chain migrate their entire village to the USA regardless of the benefit or detriment to our country. It's not anti-immigrant...it's common sense.

The thing is, illegal immigration is very easy to control. The real issue here are the special interests wanting their cheap labor.

Look at how well alcohol is policed here. I'm approaching 30, and yet I almost always get asked for my ID. Why are businesses so concerned about asking me? They are afraid of the fines if they get caught slipping up.

1. Make Everify a legal requirement.

2. Establish where illegal immigrants are generally getting work. (We know they are primarily in construction, agriculture)

3. Have ICE members pose as illegals and systematically check every one of these businesses out.

4. Every business where an ICE official was hired without Everify, RAID them and fine them 5,000 for each illegal discovered.

5. Place any business that has been fined on probation for 5 years. Check on them bi-yearly.

6. If a business has a repeat offense, fine them double and takeaway their business license for 5 years.

7. After a few years of going after the big frys take the next step by placing ICE members in with day laborers on the street.

These other laws that are being used in AZ/PA don't even properly address all of the causes and are full of a lot of BS.

Everyone wants to pussyfoot around the issue, but the real issue is that our government is horribly and completely corrupt. They are being corrupted by big business who want slave labor. If they can't get a job, then they won't come. #### the recession is proof enough of that.

Why put everyone else through this SH*T when its business owners who are pulling the strings here, and they are even pulling the strings of the anti-illegal crowd. They divert there attention from the true criminals - businesses that hire illegals.

Edited by Sousuke

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