Phoenix po­lice said to vi­o­late im­mi­gra­tion law

Law­maker says il­le­gal pol­icy re­stricts of­fi­cers

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - NEVADA & THE WEST - By Bob Christie

PHOENIX — An Ari­zona law­maker con­tends Phoenix po­lice are vi­o­lat­ing pro­vi­sions of a con­tentious 2010 law known as SB 1070 that re­quires po­lice to in­quire about the im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus of peo­ple they sus­pect are in the coun­try il­le­gally.

Repub­li­can Sen. John Ka­vanagh said Fri­day that pol­icy changes the depart­ment adopted in July il­le­gally re­strict when of­fi­cers can in­quire about a per­son’s im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus. In ad­di­tion, a new pro­ce­dure re­quir­ing a spe­cial­ized su­per­vi­sor to vet the re­quest puts road­blocks in the process to check with fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cials.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that po­lice can’t hold some­one longer than nor­mally needed just to check their im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus.

“Th­ese are pretty glar­ing vi­o­la­tions of SB 1070,” Ka­vanagh said. “They shouldn’t have im­ple­mented a patently il­le­gal po­lice oper­a­tions or­der.”

Ka­vanagh also said the pol­icy on en­force­ment on school groups is il­le­gal.

“They make their schools sanc­tu­ary is­lands,” he said. He said if po­lice were called to a Fri­day night foot­ball game and sus­pected some adults were break­ing the law and were also pos­si­bly il­le­gally in the coun­try, they couldn’t do any­thing.

“So you could have MS-13 gang mem­bers hav­ing amnesty while they’re on school grounds,” he said

Phoenix spokes­woman Julie Wat­ters said the po­lice pol­icy was re­viewed by at­tor­neys fa­mil­iar with im­mi­gra­tion law and is very sim­i­lar to those in place in Mesa and Tuc­son.

“And, just like other cities through­out Ari­zona, our pol­icy is de­signed to pro­tect vic­tims and wit­nesses and it com­plies with the di­rec­tions we have re­ceived from school dis­tricts re­gard­ing school re­source of­fi­cers in pub­lic schools,” Wat­ters said.

Ari­zona has been at the cen­ter of the na­tional de­bate over il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion for a decade, and Fri­day’s de­vel­op­ments come as im­mi­gra­tion is­sues are again at the fore­front.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said last week that he was can­cel­ing a pro­gram that pro­tected some young im­mi­grants from de­por­ta­tion. The pres­i­dent has since met with top con­gres­sional Democrats in hopes of craft­ing a deal to pro­tect the ap­prox­i­mately 800,000 peo­ple pro­tected un­der the Obama-era pro­gram.

Ka­vanagh is ask­ing the state at­tor­ney gen­eral to re­view the pol­icy un­der a 2016 law al­low­ing a sin­gle law­maker to trig­ger an in­ves­ti­ga­tion. If the at­tor­ney gen­eral de­ter­mines the pol­icy con­flicts with state law, the city will have 30 days to elim­i­nate it or face loss of state tax rev­enues.

That would be puni­tive for Phoenix, as it re­ceived nearly $175 mil­lion in state-shared rev­enue pay­ments in 2015.

The 2010 law known as SB 1070 was passed as Repub­li­cans pushed to crack down on il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion into Ari­zona. Sev­eral pro­vi­sions were struck down by the courts, but the part dubbed by op­po­nents the “show me your pa­pers” pro­vi­sion was up­held by the U.S. Supreme Court.

That section re­quires of­fi­cers to in­quire about a per­son’s im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus dur­ing con­tacts for vi­o­la­tions of any state or lo­cal law or or­di­nance if they have rea­son­able sus­pi­cion the per­son might be in the coun­try il­le­gally. Ka­vanagh said sev­eral parts of the new po­lice oper­a­tions or­der il­le­gally hin­der that.

“In one section they say that the stop can only be if the per­son was pulled over for a crime. The law doesn’t say that — the law says any vi­o­la­tion of any law or or­di­nance,” he said. “It can be lit­ter­ing, so they’re to­tally re­stric­tive there.”

John Ka­vanagh

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