Can Arizona's SB 1070 and Civil Rights Coexist? Jan Brewer Thinks So

After more than two years of legal wrangling, protests, and a boycott that captured national attention, Arizona's "show me your papers" law, SB 1070, is now in effect.

The law gives police the power to inquire about immigration status during stops if they suspect a person is in the country without authorization.

A Supreme Court ruling in June gutted SB 1070 of three of its four provisions, but critics say the remaining provision will lead to racial profiling.

One of those critics is Omar Jadwat, senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union's Immigrants' Right Project, whose organization is still pursuing an appeal for an injunction against the law. Here's what he said in a statement today:

"Section 2(B) of SB1070 has opened the door to racial profiling, wrongful detentions and arrests, putting everyone's civil rights at risk. Law enforcement resources are wasted when people are targeted based on their skin color, and our core American values of fairness and equality are compromised. The ACLU will continue to fight against SB1070."

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, the most outspoken backer of SB 1070, released a statement standing behind the law:

"Today is the day we have awaited for more than two years: the injunction against the heart of SB 1070 has been lifted, in accordance with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June. With SB 1070 in effect, state and local officers will be empowered to inquire about an individual's immigration status, but only as part of a legal stop or detention and when the officer has reasonable suspicion.

"I've never claimed that SB 1070 would cure Arizona's problems with illegal immigration; only the federal government has the resources and responsibility necessary to achieve that. What SB 1070 does represent is one more tool that our officers can use in collaborating with federal authorities to reduce the crime and other impacts associated with illegal immigration in our communities.

"In that regard, today is truly an important day for Arizona and supporters of the rule of law. But it is also a day like any other for our men and women in uniform who are charged with fairly and impartially enforcing the laws of this state, now including SB 1070. They bring their training and experience to this important task, as well as a solemn commitment to serving the public, protecting our citizens and upholding the law. That means all of our laws, including those barring racial profiling or discrimination.

"It is not enough that SB 1070 be enforced. It must be enforced efficiently, effectively and in harmony with the Constitution and civil rights. I have full faith and confidence that Arizona's State and local law enforcement officers are prepared for this task."

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