The Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Arizona v. United States, 567 U.S. __ (2012) upheld a provision in S.B. 1070 requiring an officer, if practical to do so, to contact Immigration, Custom and Enforcement (ICE) to determine if a person’s immigration status if the officer has reasonable suspicion to believe an individual already stopped, detained or arrested is in the county illegally.
In plain English, S.B. 1070 requires an officer to inquire into a person’s legal status if they have reasonable suspicion that the person is not in the country legally after the person has been stopped, detained or arrested for a crime or traffic violation. However, S.B. 1070 does not authorize officers to racially profile, i.e. they cannot just stop an individual based solely on their race, color, or national origin. If an officer develops reasonable suspicion that a person committed a crime or traffic violation they may stop, detain or arrest that person. During the stop, detention or arrest for a crime/traffic stop if the officer develops reasonable suspicions to believe the person is in the country illegally, S.B. 1070 requires the officer to contact ICE to determine of the person is in the country illegally. The Supreme Court did not determine what evidence constitutes reasonable suspicion to believe a person is in the country illegally, allowing fears of racial profiling. However, an officer can state he believes a person was in the country illegally because they did not have a drivers license, identification, valid address and officer could not find information about the individual in the national database.
Flagstaff Police Department Chief Kevin Treadway recently spoke to the Arizona Daily Sun about S.B. 1070 and how the Flagstaff Police Department will enforce the law. Chief Treadway stated:
“Officers will not be stopping or detaining persons based solely on their immigration status, and the Flagstaff Police Department will not tolerate officers stopping an individual based upon their race, color or national original, in other words, racially profiling.”
“Officers will not detain a person any longer than it would take to normally complete the stop or investigation, which means if ICE does not respond in that amount of time, the individual will be released if probable cause has not been developed to believe they have committed a crime other than an immigration violation. Officers will not be investigating the immigration status of individuals who are witnesses or victims of a crime, or who have contacted the police department to file a complaint.”
Read the complete article here.
The Flagstaff Police Department will enforce S.B. 1070 but according to Chief Treadway the Flagstaff Police Department will not tolerate racial profiling and will not detain a person any longer to complete an investigation even if they suspect they are in the country illegally. Finally, Chief Treadway reiterated multiple times that officers have been trained to not investigate the immigration status of witnesses, victims of crimes, or individuals who contact the police department to file a complaint. The Flagstaff Police Department wants the public to be aware that if you are a victim or witness of crime and you are contacted by the police, the officer will not inquire into your immigration status.
The Law Office of Gonzlaes and Poirier is a law firm committed to fighting for the civil rights of all people. If you believe your rights have been violated or you have questions about immigration law or if you qualify for a visa under the Dream Act call us at 928-774-5400.