Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Update on Arizona Senate Bill 1070

Well, I suppose I was asking for trouble when I chose immigration reform as the topic for my first column.

I joked about receiving hate mail, thinking it would be fun to push some buttons. But after a brief calm before the storm, I got responses from some Arizonans who I've never even met (one of them decided to keep his/her anonymity intact and commented on this very blog).

I don't want to make any rebuttal or argument, because I could either stay with what I already said, or argue forever about immigration. So even though I was frustrated by a random acquaintance who called my essay "retarted" on Facebook, I decided not to retaliate.

But, one letter to The Daily Universe brought to my attention that I inadvertently misquoted Senate Bill 1070. I took a quote from a news website instead of looking up the bill itself. Being mature enough to own up to my rookie mistake, I included the letter in today's page and did write a few more words concerning the issue.

Here's my note:

Editor’s Note:
The exact quote from Arizona Senate Bill 1070 is: “For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official … where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person. … A law enforcement official or agency … may not solely consider race, color or national origin in implementing the requirements of this subsection…”
On Thursday, in response to protests against the controversial wording of SB 1070, the Arizona House of Representatives proposed revisions to the bill. The change in House Bill 2162, approved by both the House and the Senate, now modifies the Senate bill to say “stop, detention or arrest” instead of “lawful contact” and takes out the word “solely.”
So, I was able to make corrections without discrediting my own argument. It worked out nicely.

I apologize to anyone who thought I was attacking Arizona and its residents. I never meant to insult Arizonans in general. I just disagree with this law. That's all.

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