LA Times Poll on Arizona Immigration Law misstates what law does

The LA Times asks people (Q 51):

This law requires police who stop a person to question that person's immigration status if there is "reasonable suspicion" that he or she is in the United States illegally and gives police the power to question anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally. It requires people to produce documents verifying their status if asked, and allows officers to detain anyone who cannot do so. Do you favor or oppose this new law?

"police who stop a person to question that person's immigration status"? First the law is quite clear that police can't stop people just to ask about immigration status. "Lawful stop, detention or arrest” must be made by a law enforcement official before asking people for their ID.

"produce documents verifying their status"? The law doesn't require that people produce IDs. In fact, the law says: "A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE, WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON, EXCEPT IF THE DETERMINATION MAY HINDER OR OBSTRUCT AN INVESTIGATION." If a person has a driver's license, but they don't have it with them, computers make it quite easy for police to check.

What would happen if people being surveyed were told exactly what qualifies as appropriate ID? A driver's license, a nonoperating identification license, a tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal ID, some other valid Federal, state or local government issued ID. I suspect that there are reasons why this wasn't made clear.

UPDATE: Compare to a Qunnipiac University poll that describes the law this way: "Under the law, state and local law enforcement officials are required to check the documentation of people they suspect are in the country illegally if they are stopped for other reasons." Of course, neither poll actually includes that race and national origin are not allowed to be taken into account.

UPDATE: Obama administration is challenging an Arizona immigration law that Janet Napolitano signed as governor.

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