SB1070 unlikely to see local federal follow-up

By Howard Fischer

Capitol Media Services/Arizona Daily Star

Earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security revoked the agreements it had with several Arizona law enforcement agencies that allowed specially trained officers to determine if someone is in this country legally and then detain that person for deportation.

That means only a federal officer can make that determination. But the Obama administration has set out a policy of spending its time pursuing only those illegal immigrants whom they consider to be high priority, including criminals and those who have repeatedly entered the country illegally.

And more recently the administration carved out an entire class of people brought here illegally as children — perhaps as many as 1.4 million of the 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States — who could apply for “deferred action” status to be allowed to remain in this country.

But if state and local police spend extra time questioning people about their status — or waiting for a response from Immigration and Customs Enforcement — that could prove fertile ground for future challenges to SB1070 and its “Show me your papers” provision.


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September 2012