Support and opposition prepare in expectation of SB 1070Posted: Updated:
A federal district judge could still chime in and kill parts or all of it, but as of right now, Arizona's tough new immigration law goes into effect at 12:01 Thursday morning. It will be met in Tucson with demonstrations from both sides.
In just three days, local police will soon be required to check people's immigration status if they have reasonable suspicion to believe they're here illegally.
Final preparations are underway.
"We are now in about the 17th or 18th training episode that we had where we're getting all of our commissioned officers through the training," says Chief Roberto Villaseñor of the Tucson Police Dept.
Training that consists of a 90-minute video, a step-by-step how-to process, and a question and answer session.
But one big uncertainty still exists.
"As of this moment right now, it's not clear how we contact the federal government to determine citizenship status," says Villaseñor.
The training video made by AZ post has a phone number for police to call to get in touch with immigration and customs enforcement.
Villaseñor says that number's not going to work, "And what that number is for is that after you've sent a computer query you can call this number and ask them to expedite their response because presumably you'll have an officer waiting on the side of the road."
He expects TPD alone to have about 50,000 inquiries on immigration status next year, "And I don't believe there's a mechanism set up as of yet to handle that number of calls."
Meanwhile, as police prepare for the law to go into effect, people who oppose SB 1070 plan more protests.
"On Thursday the request is, don't work, don't buy, don't comply. So it's a no buy day, don't go to work, don't go to school, take a furlough," says Kat Rodriguez of Derechos Humanos.
Instead, the plan is for opponents to gather outside the state building downtown in solidarity.
"We really need this last push of attention and heat and wanting people to have that solidarity piece," says Rodriguez.
Whether the law goes into effect on Thursday is still up to the courts.
In the meantime, Villaseñor awaits the judge's ruling, "If there is no decision before Thursday, we're just gonna have to work through this some way or another."
Thursday morning, a new group known as the Pima County Tea Party Patriots will stand on the corner of Congress and Granada in downtown Tucson in support of SB 1070.
Members of the Tea Party Patriots did not return a request for comment today.