The bill in some ways toughens up a situation that the Obama
administration had tried to roll back.
Arizona lawmakers on Tuesday passed one of the toughest pieces of
immigration-enforcement legislation in the country, which would make it a
violation of state law to be in the U.S. without proper documentation.
It would also grant police the power to stop and verify the
immigration status of anyone they suspect of being illegal.
The bill could still face a veto from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. A
spokesman for Ms. Brewer said she has not publicly commented on the
bill. Ms. Brewer, a Republican, has argued for stringent immigration
Under the measure, passed Tuesday by Arizona's lower house, after
being passed earlier by the state Senate, foreign nationals are required
to carry proof of legal residency.
Immigrants' rights groups roundly criticized the bill. "The objective is
to make life miserable for immigrants so that they leave the state,"
said Chris Newman, general counsel for the Los Angeles-based National
Day Laborer Organizing Network. "The bill constitutes a complete
disregard for the rights of nonwhites in Arizona. It effectively
mandates racial profiling."