Immigration bill has some in Tucson concerned about crime reportingPosted: Updated:
A busy day at the state capitol surrounding Senate Bill 1070. The bill had some in Tucson wondering about what effect the bill might have if the governor signs it into law.
Law enforcement officers have a duty to protect and serve. Local police say if governor Jan brewer signs senate bill 1070 into law, they'll continue to do just that.
"This is actually another state law that yeah, as sworn peace officers, we would have to enforce. but i don't think you're gonna see a lot of change in the way we do everyday business," says South Tucson Police Chief Richard Muñoz.
That's the message the South Tucson police chief wants to convey to people, because he says officers would still need probable cause to stop someone, "You can't just make a stop based on race, color, national origin."
Meanwhile, opposition to the bill that requires police to question people about their immigration status remains strong.
"I just cannot see how this bill will be found constitutional," says Maurice Goldman.
Goldman is an immigration attorney who also works with the Border Action Network. He says immigration enforcement shouldn't come from local municipalities, "It has to come from the federal government. and I think this is a wake-up call to the people on capitol hill to actually take action on immigration reform."
Opponents in Phoenix carried a coffin containing the U.S. Constitution -- symbolic of what many fear will happen if the bill passes.
Inside the senate chambers -- a different story.
"It's about those who violate our laws who enter our country illegally or remain in our country illegally," says District 26 Senator Al Melvin.
But at what price? Chief Richard Muñoz hopes the law won't deter victims of crimes from calling for help, "They should not fear calling the police for any reason whether they're victims or not because of their status in this country."
He wants people to keep that in mind if the bill does indeed become law.