Traffic stops highlight flaws in Arizona’s immigration law
United States, 7th May: Arizona’s immigration law smacks of several flaws and this becomes evident every time an innocent immigrant with an undocumented status becomes a victim of traffic stops.
Undocumented immigrants- victims of Arizona immigration law-- Undocumented immigrants stopped at traffic signals by cops are left with no option but to face detention unless they are able to provide a valid proof of their legal US status.
Their only fault is common—they were brought to the US unlawfully during their childhood.
For being brought unlawfully as children in the US, undocumented immigrants are prohibited from seeking work in the US, drive or live in the US unless they clear the long and arduous pathway to become legal US citizens or US residents.
Quite strange, isn’t it?
Consider, for instance, the recent detention of wife of a US soldier, Araceli Mercado Sanchez, who was stopped at a traffic signal by cops while taking a wrong turn.
But, she did not realize that what this single traffic error could mean to her.
Sanchez, who is working to become a legal US resident, was hurried away to US immigration officials after failing to provide a Social Security card or a driver’s license, any of the two documents proving her legal US residency.
And the fact that she is wife of a US soldier did not help her in any way.
She was forced to remain in detention for two nights while her small daughter was left to fend for herself with no one around.
Difficulties in determining immigration status—The fact that federal officials took nearly three days to figure out Mrs. Sanchez’s immigration status brings forth the loopholes in the law, states a retired Army official and an immigration lawyer, Margaret Stock.
She was detained for three days before being released. This is despite the declaration by the Obama administration that undocumented immigrants stopped for traffic violation won’t face deportation.
Moreover, the administration had also formulated a policy to fast-track US legal residency for undocumented immigrants who are close relations of US military personnel.
Arizona immigration law--Formulated way back in 2010, Arizona immigration law, also known as SB 1070, it allows local police officials to stop anyone at traffic signals and verify about his or her US immigration status.
It further gives authority to take them into detention if police have reasonable suspicion of their undocumented stay in the US. The law makes it a legal offence to apply for job as an undocumented immigrant or not to have valid US residence documents.