FactCheck.org on Arizona’s “Papers Please” Law

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

The folks at FactCheck.org have weighed in on the rhetorical claims being made about SB 1070. Arizona’s ‘Papers Please’ Law | FactCheck.org:

We’ll leave it to others to decide whether Arizona’s new immigration law is a good thing or a bad thing — but here we try to straighten out some of the confusing factual claims. First, a quick summary. Contrary to what the law’s defenders often say, the new statute does more than merely mirror federal law. For example:

  • It’s a state crime for an illegal immigrant to apply for a job, or to solicit work publicly.
  • The law also makes it a misdemeanor for a citizen driving a vehicle to stop to hire anyone if that "impedes" traffic.
  • Citizens will be able to sue officials or agencies whose policies interfere with vigorous enforcement of federal immigration law.

On the much-discussed issue of whether the law permits or encourages "racial profiling," we find:

  • The amended law allows police to consider "race, color or national origin" when deciding whether to ask somebody for proof of citizenship, but only to the extent already deemed constitutional by the courts.
  • It remains to be seen how police will interpret the law’s anti-profiling language in practice. State officials tell us they have yet to work out what factors police should be trained to use to establish "reasonable suspicion" of illegal status.
  • Federal officials are open to criticisms similar to some of those being made about Arizona’s law. A federal manual for training state and local officials says they may consider whether a person has a "thick foreign accent" or looks "out of place" when deciding whether to ask them about their immigration status.

Finally, we examine a widely circulated chain e-mail written by an Arizona state senator who supports the law, and find her claims to be misleading. The violence against ranchers that she describes is real, but it is the work of Mexican crime cartels, not illegal immigrants.


Recently, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer posted a video that uses a frog puppet to mock critics of the state’s new immigration law for not having actually read it. We’re asked to sing along with the amphibian as he croaks, "reading helps you know what you’re talking about."

Well, we’ve read it (take that, frog!). Below, we try to address a few of the questions and misperceptions that seem to go hand-in-hand with the get-tough statute that targets illegal aliens.

The rhetorical claims that Fact Check.org analyzes are:

Doesn't the Arizona law just mirror federal immigration law?

But why the outcry? These people are here illegally, right?

Does the law allow racial or ethnic profiling?

And finally they look at Sen. Sylvia Allen's defense of SB 1070, widely forwarded as a chain e-mail among supporters of SB 1070, and find the e-mail has several factual problems.

I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you! A woman who seriously believes the Earth is only 6,000 years old is also wrong about SB 1070? Arizona is 6000 years old? | Discover Magazine She's not someone from whom anyone should be taking advice.

0 responses to “FactCheck.org on Arizona’s “Papers Please” Law

  1. Arizona will pay a heavy price for enacting the most aggressive anti-immigrant legislation in the history of the nation. Republicans are usually sensative to what impacts them in the wallet. They are about to get a wake-up call from the rest of the nation. All I can say is, thank god I am not a property owner in Arizona. I hate to think what the property taxes will be next year or what the market is starting to do now. Tim Paynter http://immigrants2bfree.blogspot.com/