TUCSON (AP/KGUN9) - A federal judge has ruled that Arizona authorities can enforce the most contentious section of the state's immigration law, which critics have dubbed the "show me your papers" provision.
"We're going to seen an increase in human rights abuses because we have a very vague way of implementing the law," said Juanita Molina.
Molina is with Border Action Network. She tells KGUN 9 this decision will unleash chaos in the state. The ruling Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton clears the way for police to carry out the 2010 law's requirement that officers, while enforcing other laws, question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally.
9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito asked Molina if this is a racist law. She replied, "Absolutely. We're looking at a whole situation of Jim Crow laws that are being adapted for immigrants here. It's not undocumented people this law affects. It affects all people. It limits our freedom and our ability to live our daily lives."
The City of Tucson has been vocal against SB 1070 and staunchly against the "show me your papers" provision. 9OYS asked Tucson council members to react to this latest legal decision.
"We're going to get sued over this," said councilman Steve Kozachik.
The council calls it bad law. And councilwoman Regina Romero says those lawsuits won't be cheap.
"It will cost the City of Tucson money first and foremost," said Romero.
As for the Tucson Police Department, it says they will abide by the decision in it's entirety. Officers are prepared and have been trained. They plan on issuing a formal statement Thursday afternoon.
Governor Jan Brewer is applauding the decision. The governor's office says the law is expected to go into effect shortly. Her office released this statement:
"Today, Arizona is one big step closer to implementing the core provision of SB 1070. I applaud the federal court for siding with the U.S. Supreme Court in refusing to block the most critical section of this law, which will empower state and local law enforcement, as part of a legal stop or detention, to inquire about an individual's immigration status when the officer has reasonable suspicion. With this provision, Arizona makes a clear statement that it will not tolerate sanctuary city policies, and will now have thousands of additional officers to collaborate with the federal government as state and local law enforcement do what they always have: enforce the law.
"After more than two years of legal challenges, it is time that Section 2(B) of SB 1070 take effect. Given today's ruling, along with the federal court's suggestion that it intends in the very near future to formally lift the existing injunction, it is clear the day of implementation is fast approaching.
"As I have said consistently, it is not enough that this law be enforced. It must be enforced efficiently, effectively and in harmony with the Constitution and civil rights. I have no doubt Arizona's law enforcement officers are up for the task ahead."
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