Arizona House moves to clarify new immigration law
The Arizona House approved several new changes to Arizona's new immigration law. The changes still need final approval from the Senate before being passed along to the governor. If Gov. Jan Brewer supports them, they would go into effect at the same time the new law would.
The phrase "lawful contact" would be changed to "lawful stop, detention or arrest" to clarify that an officer would not need to question a crime victim or witness about their legal status.
The word "solely" would be eliminated from the sentence "A law enforcement official or agency … may not solely consider race, color or national origin" in establishing reasonable suspicion that someone is in the country illegally.
Bill sponsor Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, said the intent is to clarify that "this bill prohibits racial profiling in any form." Bill opponents had argued that the word "solely" allowed officers to base their reasonable suspicion on race and color as long as it wasn't just one of them.
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, said those two changes help clarify the bill, and lighten its impact somewhat. But she called a third change "frightening." . . .