• September 5, 2015

Arizona College Officials Worry About Effects of New Immigration Law

Arizona college administrators say they are concerned about the effects the state's new immigration law, which Gov. Jan Brewer signed this week, will have on their campuses.

Some out-of-state students have already told the University of Arizona they are not coming because of the law, which asks local and state law-enforcement officers, including the campus police, to ask people whom they suspect are illegal immigrants to provide evidence of legal immigration status.

And although some scholars say the law might not survive constitutional challenges, college officials report that students and faculty and staff members are worried that the state policy will create an atmosphere of fear on campuses, particularly for Hispanic and international students, and may discourage some people from attending college at all.

Melissa Vito, vice president for student affairs at the University of Arizona, says as many as 10 students or parents have already e-mailed to turn down offers of admission in light of the law.

Some of those students, she says, are from Hispanic families and are concerned about racial profiling. Others turning down offers are parents who say they do not want their children going to college in Arizona on principle.

"The problem is, it creates a perception about the state," she said.

Training the Campus Police

What effects the law will have on the campus police remains unclear. Like all police officers in the state, campus officers will be required to go through training for how to carry out the law. But spokespersons from the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University said this week they do not know what that training will entail or when it will take place.

University presidents say their campuses are concerned about possible racial profiling.

In a statement e-mailed to the campus community, Robert N. Shelton, president of the University of Arizona, said that he has "total confidence" that the campus police will follow a provision in the law that says individuals cannot be stopped solely on the basis of race.

Mr. Shelton said many students and faculty and staff members have expressed concerns that police officers could detain them or their families and friends, even though their families have been living in the United States for generations. He expressed his confidence in the campus police but said he understood the anxiety of people on campus.

"It is a concern and fear that no one should have to harbor," he said.

Mr. Shelton said he was particularly concerned about the law's effect on the college's international students, who may be concerned about what documents they will need to carry or simply may feel unwelcome.

"We must do everything possible to ensure that these students continue to feel welcomed and respected, despite the unmistakably negative message that this bill sends to many of them," he said.

Elsewhere, Tom Bauer, a spokesman at Northern Arizona University, said it was premature to discuss the full effects of the law, but the college shared concerns about possible racial profiling and a negative effect on the recruitment of international students.

Sharon Keeler, a spokeswoman for Arizona State University, said that admissions officers will be communicating with admitted students to reinforce the message that the campus is a "warm and welcoming place for people of all races and ethnicities, as well as international students."

Elizabeth D. Capaldi, provost of Arizona State, said in a statement that the law has raised concern both on campus and with some of the college's global partners. She emphasized that the college remains committed to diversity and will not require change in any university policy.

"We will ensure that the new law not be misinterpreted or misapplied," she said.

Disincentive to Enroll?

Rufus Glasper, chancellor of Maricopa Community Colleges, said he was concerned that the law could negatively affect the number of Arizona students, both those who are in the state legally and those who are undocumented immigrants, who enroll in college.

In 2006 Arizona voters approved a measure, Proposition 300, that requires students who cannot prove they are legal immigrants to pay out-of-state tuition at Arizona colleges, though the institutions remained open to all students. The new law, Mr. Glasper said, "will likely deter undocumented students from continuing their education, with adverse consequences for the economy of this state."

"Just as importantly, the many Latino citizens and lawful immigrants who attend college now face the offensive and discriminatory prospect of incessant demands to show their documents," he said. "We can expect that some will find this prospect discouraging and will discontinue their pursuit of education and training as well."

The Arizona Board of Regents will meet this weekend to discuss the effects of the law on campuses across the state. Jennifer Grentz, a spokeswoman for the board, said that college presidents will meet with legal counsel in an executive session to discuss the legal ramifications of the new policy for higher education.


1. physicsprof - April 30, 2010 at 04:03 pm

As a citizen concerned about human rights I think this is a step towards police state, but as a scientist I also view it as a valuable experiment. There are contradictory arguments whether cracking down on illegal immigrants is bad for economy (squeezing out cheap labor) or in fact good (fewer tax dollars spent, less crime, etc.). It is not possible to find out until one walks the walk. Call me immoral, but I will be watching the consequences with acute interest.

2. ccherry - April 30, 2010 at 04:26 pm

The police must first have a "lawful contact" before questioning someone's immigration status. That contact must involve the cop questioning someone, first, about an entirely different infraction than being in the US illegally (e.g., running a red light or something worse). The lawful contact is a crucial first step and is ignored in most media stories. Why?

3. rickahardy - April 30, 2010 at 04:42 pm

Everyday, police make decisions on who to stop for a traffic code violation. Let's say my wife and I are following each other in different cars, and we're both exceeding the speed limit. We're both US citizens, but my wife is Hispanic. Which car will be stopped? That's why there is concern about this law. Leaving the door wide open for profiling is not wise.

The email from the U of A president to his campus community asserting his "total confidence" that "campus police will follow a provision in the law that says individuals cannot be stopped solely on the basis of race" eerily reminds me of the scene in Schindler's List when Schindler tells guards that his employees are protected on his company's grounds, and warns the guards about mistreating them.

There needs to be immigration reform, but this new law in Arizona creates a nightmare scenario for the state and its colleges and universities.

4. hrmprofessor - April 30, 2010 at 04:51 pm

It's often quite humorous that educated enlightened individuals resort to distorting a law. The State of Arizona is enforcing a federal law with which the federal government will not assume ownership. For one to make assertions and statements such as "police state" and/or "Nazi-ism" (media outlets) is socially irresponsible. This is not a human rights issue. It is a soveriegnty issue regarding these soveriegn United States.

5. karmen - April 30, 2010 at 04:54 pm

i really worried about the stupid law that it could cause disasters in the life of millions of people, thus are no consecuences for economic or security of the State, but are human and they have rigths, and the value of these people is the same value than any of yours. i don't know what norteamenicans feel that they are better than everyone else.

6. physicsprof - April 30, 2010 at 05:13 pm

hrmprofessor, "police state" is not a wonderland that you reach once you have enacted such and such laws. Police state is a condition that is ever present but to a different degree. You make steps towards more police state or less of it. When you make air passengers undergo humiliating searches, you let more police state into your life (we are not talking here whether it is right or wrong). When you make your citizens carry IDs at all times, you are making a step towards it. When you let federal authorities ruin the life of an innocent antrax suspect Bruce Ivins you make another step. Question of whether we have "police state" or not does not have a simple yes/no answer, it is a continuum. it is simply about how much of it we HAVE.

7. kralmajales - April 30, 2010 at 07:56 pm

I teach at one of the Arizona institutions that is going to be impacted by this law. I totally disagree that this is just a replication of a federal law. The state legislature and our Governor chose to enact this law without a view toward its costs, benefits, and consequences for the state. It was not done out of any sense of desperation or to just mimic federal law, but it was done, as one state Senator said publicly, to make is painful for undocumented immigrants to live here, to drive them out, etc. I can find the quotes for you. It was aimed at deportation. Plain and simple. Those who say its just symbolic and won't be enforced are completely nuts. Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been doing what this law says for years and years...with his deputies...in Maricopa County. Guess what, he has also been under federal investigation for the violation of civil rights.

Two more things. Laws have impacts on culture...and they come from culture. This one came from a set of attitudes with the purpose and design to get rid of undocumented immigrants in our state...and it says something about how those who support this law view the world. That attitude, which includes racism for many, comes with a severe cost. It makes people feel uncomfortable needlessly, angry without need, and it doesn't not address the complexity of this problem which we spend billions of US treasure on each year.

Last, these legislators wanted to act all tough. And show the tough side of Arizona. They also wanted to please their supporters politically rather than face this problem and its layers. Their answer is deport, break up families, send parents "home" with their citizen children. And the "illegal" economy is massive...and important.

With all the costs that they could foresee, they did it anyway. There is "just following the law" and then there is doing what is right. This is neither.

8. kralmajales - April 30, 2010 at 08:03 pm

Here is one story for those who are interested and a set of quotes from one of our colleagues in our legislature. I disagree with him completely. So on one hand this about about "catch and deport" and on another it is about scaring people away without any thought to what that means to a whole host of others who think that our laws should be about solving problems...and not scaring people off.

Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, it's about creating so much fear they will leave on their own.

The strategy is known as "attrition through enforcement," and it is a factor behind every one of the anti-illegal-immigration laws passed so far, said Kavanagh, a main supporter of the bill and a criminal-justice professor at Scottsdale Community College.

"That means that rather than conducting large-scale active roundups of illegal immigrants
, our intention is to make Arizona a very uncomfortable place for them to be so they leave or never come here in the first place," he said. "So, rather than massive deportations, we are basically going to encourage them to leave on their own."

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/community/tempe/articles/2010/04/28/20100428arizona-immigration-law-migrants-leaving-arizona.html#ixzz0mdCj1Vm4

9. 11274135 - May 01, 2010 at 04:04 am

The Arizona legislation embodies the refusal of its authors to recognize that immigration in AZ is a complex problem. One gets tired of hearing "What part of illegial don't you understand" as an unanswerable argument.

10. roro1618 - May 01, 2010 at 06:18 am

Arizona is truly a backwards state. My family and I had planned to vacation there this summer, but we have changed our plans because 1. we do not wish to be stopped for some pseudo-legitimate pretext and then asked about our immigration status (we are citizens); 2. As a matter of principle, we will not give our travel dollars to a state that is so inbred. I would not encourage any college students to go the state for their education nor would I encourage faculty to work there, either.

11. your_rights - May 01, 2010 at 08:08 am

Source: CNN: "Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce this week told CNN's Tony Harris that half the murders in Phoenix are committed by unauthorized immigrants and that the city is the second in the world in kidnappings."

I wonder what the victims of murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, etc. at the hands of illegal immigrants think about your politically correct--don't hurt my feelings rhetoric?

The only thing I hear you talking about is the loss of revenue and someone being insulted. #1 is correct about the loss of revenue. You do not know the facts yet. If your delicate sensibilities are hurt--tuff.

12. physicsprof - May 01, 2010 at 09:31 am

"...but it was done, as one state Senator said publicly, to make is painful for undocumented immigrants to live here, to drive them out, etc. I can find the quotes for you. It was aimed at deportation. Plain and simple."

Kralmajales, you might suppose it is self-explanatory, but I fail to see how the intent to drive illegal immigrants out must be deemed evil outright. Face it, illegal immigration is a crime by law. Is it morally bad to make life inconvenient and painful for criminals? (Sometimes criminals are even booked to prison for years -- how dare! -- and some categories of criminals, like sexual offenders, live pretty painful life even after they do their time in the big house). Anyway, my point is -- don't find the above promised quotes, but instead explain what would they prove for you.

13. amnirov - May 01, 2010 at 09:58 am

As an immigrant, I have witnessed first hand the broken nature of the current system. I have no respect for it, and do not feel that it has the moral authority required in order to be enforced by either federal or state action. Obviously, there needs to be some system of control, but there should be sweeping reform. On the other hand, people claiming that Arizona is heading down the road to becoming a police state are offensive morons whose understanding of the mechanism of a true police state is at best fetal. Similarly, what does calling Arizona "backwards" say about places such as Yemen or North Korea or Iran or Saudi Arabia or Rhodesia? Arizona is misguided, poorly informed, but backwards? Not quite.

14. rburns - May 01, 2010 at 10:01 am

Atmosphere of fear on the campuses? Bullroar. These people need to get a life that has some connection with reality. Of course there are students, staff, and faculty on any campus who regularly use fake ID's, have overstayed their visas, or otherwise have false credentials in their resumes. These are called "criminals" when they do such things, and maybe, just maybe even on the rare acres of a college campus they should have some concern for breaking the law. After all this is the same culture that allows them to attend college while paying less than one-third of the cost, permits them to come to this country for opportunities their native lands cannot or will not provide, and which contributes the funds for generous salaries/benefits, state of the art labs and facilities, etc. But hey, we wouldn't want these hot house orchids to feel the pressures of any personal responsibilities.

15. physicsprof - May 01, 2010 at 10:12 am

"On the other hand, people claiming that Arizona is heading down the road to becoming a police state are offensive morons whose understanding of the mechanism of a true police state is at best fetal."

Amnirov, my experience with what might constitute a "police state" is 24 years of living inside it. What's yours? (On my academic stance of what constitutes police state see post #6.)

16. wbradshaw - May 01, 2010 at 02:42 pm

I am courious about something. How many of you who feel strongly one way or the other about this new law in Arizona have actually read the text of the law? I have not read the law, so I am not qualified to comment on it. I am interested in a scholarly discussion about the actual law. I wish someone would come forward and discuss the actual law, and from a scholarly and unbiased position discuss the possible end results that could realistically be expected.

17. amnirov - May 01, 2010 at 02:42 pm

Um, physicsprof, since you've already defined a "police state" as being incremental on a continuous spectrum from happy land to jack boots and rubber truncheons, your experience isn't entirely relevant, as by your very definition, I have lived my entire life in one police state after another.

Now, if we're going to talk police states, let's be sensible. Enforcing an immigration law, however stupid said law is, isn't an attribute of a police state. Nor is requiring citizens to carry driver's licenses when driving their cars, register their firearms, obtain passports and so on.

You want a police state? How about Communist Romania? How about Communist East Germany? How about Apartheid era South Africa? I'm not going to break out the N- political party that once ruled a certain Teutonic nation state as I don't want to invoke Godwin and lose the argument.

I'll say it again. Arizona may be misguided or even xenophobic, but it certainly isn't recruiting snitches for the Stasi.

18. roro1618 - May 01, 2010 at 03:16 pm

Anyone who says that being stopped for "questionable pretenses" and claims that the only harm comes from one's feelings has clearly not experienced DWB (Driving While Black) that is a reality for 13% of the US population (this includes citizens). These actions have led to beatings, jailings, and, on occasion, death.

19. kralmajales - May 01, 2010 at 06:05 pm

Your Rights quotes Russell Pearce, the author of the law, arguing that half the murders, etc. etc. are illegal immigrants. That is absolutely not true. Where are his facts? Sources? The Goldwater Institute? CIS???? Come on.

Most reputable studies have found that there is no difference whatsoever in criminal behavior of the undocumented and the citizen. Violent crime in Arizona has, in fact, gone down. And well before this law that was supposed to be responding to increases in crime.

There is no question that there are problems associate with illegal immigration. These can be solved in a host of ways. But this effort symbolic or not has driven a wedge between people and it misses a host of potential solutions to this problem that people really need to talk about, assess, and work on.

Last, slightly off/on the subject. Please read about and suppor the Dream Act on your campuses around the nation. It is a bi-partisan effort to give kids in our nation who are undocumented a shot at college at in-state rates and a pathway to citizenship. It is about kids who may have been brought here years ago, that go to school with our kids, play on our kids teams, and that are generally good students. They should not have to live in fear and because of a decision, right or wrong, that their parents made.

Go to www.dreamactivist.org. Learn about and support it.

20. conahec4u - May 02, 2010 at 03:16 am

Now Arizona is a very famous place all of the world, but for the wrong reason.

This poorly drafted law has created a tremendous damage to the state of Arizona in terms of prestige, attractiveness, and reputation both nationally and internationally.

I travel internationally quiet frequently and I can witness that Arizona no longer is associated internationally with the concept of a "smart state" in a knowledge base society, but rather as a racist and isolationist state governed by individuals not preciselly associated with words such as "smart" and "tolerant".

Still there is a small window of opportunity to remedy this unfortunate disaster. Otherwise, let's be prepared to expect in the future a dramatic reduction in our state capacity to attract companies, and in our capacity to attract and retain talent in our higher education institutions.

Is that the brilliant future that our ilustrious legislators forecasted? Is that the future that our governor anticipated when she signed the law?

21. kralmajales - May 02, 2010 at 09:57 am

An analysis of the law into today's paper by a colleague, Jack Chin, of the U. of Arizona Law School. Take a look. The law is seriously problematic and deserves every bit of the attention it is getting...and more.


22. physicsprof - May 02, 2010 at 11:10 am

#21, I read it, and actually warmed up to the law. Quote:

In The New York Times op-ed, Kobach wrote, "The Arizona law actually reduces the likelihood of race-based harassment by compelling police officers to contact the federal government as soon as is practicable when they suspect a person is an illegal alien, as opposed to letting them make arrests on their own assessment."

I do not see many areas of the law that you claim to be "seriously problematic". The only issue is that the new law imposes another duty on AZ police without providing new funding. But this is hardly a civil rights issue. I say let AZ lawmakers and taxpayers sort it out.
Current immigration problem is a mess, so don't throw stones into those who at least are trying to do something about it. Only time will show if the law is for good or for worse, but in any case it is a valuable experiment.

23. texasguy - May 02, 2010 at 04:36 pm

I cannot blame students who do not want to return to Arizona next Fall. I have been a permanent resident of this great country for many enjoyable years and have always kept my green card safely stowed with my passport. As it is now, I could not drive safely through Arizona without having it all the time with me. The choice for me is a no-brainer: I will stop visting Arizona and ask the scientific societies to which I belong not to hold meetings in this state.

24. tappat - May 03, 2010 at 08:41 am

Arizona now needs to create a law that deports retired cops from back east.

More seriously, it is shameful, what the legislature and governor have done in Arizona, but we also need to know that this is the product of the worst part of US society immigrating to Arizona, mostly from the east coast and fly-over country. When we have jokingly said, "ugh! just give these people a state and get 'em outa here," we didn't expect it to happen, certainly not to a previously lovely place like Arizona!

I can't believe that so many people around the country keep concentrating on the specific sort of bigotry inspiring the law and gratified by the law. Sure this is reprehensible, but the law effects everyone, not just the people currently and nominally targeted. No decent American wants to be in a place in which some little men and women are licensed to use deadly force and to harass people, especially if the people have no papers acceptable to the bureaucracy or have papers that the little people licensed to use deadly force and to harass people think might be falsified. I really don't see how this helps a public servant "protect and serve" the public. I see how it demeans and endangers the public: is that what "protect and serve" now means, a la Orwell or some such?

Even more seriously, we need to rewrite the water rights Arizona has a stanglehold on, in orer to make New Mexico an even more viable alternative to Arizona than it already is.

25. stannadel - May 03, 2010 at 09:51 am

Foreign students and legal residents are the ones least impacted by this law--they are already required by federal law to carry their papers at all times. It will be Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and all other US born citizens who might be suspected of being in the US illegally who will now be 2nd class citizens as they will required to carry a passport or other proof of citizenship at all times or risk being detained until someone brings them their proof of citizenship. And no, a drivers license won't do, I got my NY driver's license without ever demonstrating either citizenship or legal residence and any AZ cop who knows that driver's licenses are not proof of legal status will demand more, like a passport. And the requirement that citizens have and be prepared to show their papers at all times is indeed the mark of a police state.

26. robin2381 - May 03, 2010 at 10:39 am

Here in Arizona we have tried for years to have 'you', others in the USA, through our Federal government make a decision to protect our country ... not just from those souls that are looking for a job; but the greater threat of terrorists that can just as easily cross the border. What part of sovernty don't you get? Of all the countries on the globe the USA does the least to ensure that those that come into the country will contribute--yes, harvesting produce is a contribution; so are nuclear scientists; nurses; etc. Before you are 'up in arms', check the current Federal law; yes, read it...you will find that what we have put together in AZ is right on target with what the current Federal laws say AND we go further to protect individual rights....Get up to speed with the facts; Its your responsibility to KNOW what you are talking about rather begin reactionary....Lead for a change! RK

27. roro1618 - May 03, 2010 at 11:41 am

USC158-mmmm, so you support the Confederate flag flying. Nothing else needs to be said about who and what you are.

28. kurtosis - May 03, 2010 at 12:11 pm

No matter why this law was enacted, it is dangerous. We've moved from protecting national borders to walling off select groups of individuals; from presumed innocence and probable cause to implied guilt and reasonable suspicion; from spying on external threats to spying on internal citizens. Archbishop Desmond Tutu recently noted that this is how apartheid started: not with an instant transformation to evil, but with pass laws, and increasing separation and vilification of groups in society.

This is not about protection from terrorism; and, to sell it as such is either disingenuous or aggressively stupid. If it were about terrorism, you would have people in NYC (the perennial target) supportive of such laws. Instead, Arizona is on its own in thinking these laws are sensible. The only (small) silver lining is that they will surely pay an economic penalty for these laws and the rhetoric.

I could easily say something nasty, but the truth is not that and asks more of us. Arizona can do better to protect its borders, respect its citizens, and welcome newcomers; and, we outside Arizona have a duty to hold them to achieving that excellence.

29. marka - May 03, 2010 at 12:29 pm

1st - our collective immigration policies need substantial reform as they create unfair & avoidable differentials. When my family supported La Huelga & took the long march from Delano in the '60s, we were concerned that legal migrants with greencards got fair wages & conditions, and that they were not undercut by illegal wetbacks recruited by the growers. That said ...

2d - kralmajales, et al, need to calm down, read the objective analyses - not the emotionally driven ones - and check out the facts. Politifact has done so, and the Arizona law basically mirrors federal law, with a few additional state requirements. And, as Politifact notes, if any of you have actually traveled abroad, you should know that every other country in the world checks 'foreigner's' papers, not only at the port of entry, but at any other time. That is why one is advised to carry one's passport & visa at all times (or copies thereof if one needs to hand them over to a guide, hotel safe, etc.) http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/apr/28/george-will/will-says-arizona-law-merely-echoes-federal-immigr/

3d - The analyses I've read do suggest that there is a world of difference been authorized & unauthorized (the Pew Center's nomenclature @ http://pewhispanic.org/files/reports/46.pdf) aliens -- crime rates being one significant distinction, as well as financial & educational resources. See, e.g., summary @ http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2009/07/rhetoric_and_reality_on_immigr.html#preview

4th - with respect to unauthorized aliens, they also tend to depress labor markets, displacing legal migrants & others. See, e.g., Immigration, Intergroup Conflict, and the Erosion of African American Political Power in the 21st Century (February 2007) @ http://uspolitics.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ/Ya&sdn=uspolitics&cdn=newsissues&tm=74&f=00&tt=14&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A//www.cis.org/

Borjas, George J., 2003, "The Labor Demand Curve Is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," Quarterly Journal of Economics [published by Harvard & MIT] 118: 1335-1374 @ http://ksghome.harvard.edu/~GBorjas/Papers/QJE2003.pdf

& many other labor studies @ http://www.clms.neu.edu/publication/

30. 11299051 - May 03, 2010 at 04:21 pm

Hello Texasguy, immigration officials informed me quite strongly that I was to carry the green card on my person at all times. So what's the big deal? I had to show it to get a job and driver's license. It was my claim to honest participation in the country's pleasures and problems. Once I became a citizen I started carrying my passport because it was easier than carrying a notorized and translated copy of my foreign language birth certificate along with my citizenship papers. Following the laws of the country should come naturally to anyone who has experienced the countries of Eastern Europe or lived in the Soviet Union--or thought about it.

As for the remaining arguments covering the subject of horrible Arizona, I love the beautiful state of Arizona and will enjoy my vacation there. More for me. If you'd like to leave Arizona or avoid a state which is "inbred," based on my personal experiences I recommend you avoid Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Iowa, Indiana, and a variety of other states in which I have lived. In their own way these all offered the "not from here are you" attitude. Grow up, it's a fact of life.

31. eliffmavi - May 04, 2010 at 07:32 am

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32. hmejia - May 04, 2010 at 10:05 am

This is not a scientist topic, that's pretty much to say that jewish detention campus on WWII were a scientist experiment on how mistreaten people reacts toward discrimination. Nor a sovereignity topic, because a big nation that is the USA hasn't be developed by natives but foreigners from every part of the world; a crucible of races and cultures. The Government must change the way it treated people that came to make the American dream come true. Or the problem is just hispanic nature?

33. evans0526 - May 04, 2010 at 10:18 am

When US citizens travel to foreign countries, we usually keep our passports with us and are prepared to show it when asked to do so. I don't find this offensive in the least.

So I'm wondering, why is it so offensive to ask for identification in the US? Really, I would like a rational, well-articulated response to this question by someone who finds it truly offensive because I just don't get it. Why? What is the big deal?

34. dogood1776 - May 04, 2010 at 10:37 am

"Melissa Vito, vice president for student affairs at the University of Arizona, says as many as 10 students or parents have already e-mailed to turn down offers of admission in light of the law."

Ten students?!? Total enrollment at the university of Arizona in 2009 was nearly 70,000. Leave it to the press to stir things up. This is a tempest in a teapot.

35. jballen - May 04, 2010 at 10:57 am

"Illegal" is key in this discussion. He who purports a repeal of immigration laws and an opening of our borders to all who wish to enter is a fool. Failure (or continued failure), to support immigration law by enforcing it is just as foolish. Tugging heartstrings is simply an emotional wedge that distorts the value of law. How much police state as "physicsprof" so aptly addressed earlier is the ONLY consideration. I don't mind carrying proper ID in an effort to help enforce immigration laws any more than I mind a search and identifying myself in order to ride on a cramped, overbooked airliner. So line up everybody, and present your papers. Let's rid our nation of those who are here "illegally". After all, isn't it just one more step towards ending slavery and standing on our own two feet?

36. director19 - May 04, 2010 at 12:12 pm

I concur with jballen. The people who do not understand the word 'illegal" are the ones who do not understand. There are methods of applying for entry to the United States and for seeking citizenship. I have no problem with this methodology. For those who are in violation, send them back where they came from. The soon, the better.

37. _perplexed_ - May 04, 2010 at 12:17 pm

I'm wondering what proof of citizenship evans0526 and other presumptive US citizens carry with them at all times? I wonder how many US citizens could not immediately prove their citizenship with a passport or birth certificate and so are eligible for detention if stopped by police in AZ for virtually any minor infraction.

38. kymac - May 04, 2010 at 12:53 pm

I don't understand why a student going to a community college would be worried - wouldn't they be less vulnerable to the law as they would have shown ID to register and might possibly now have a student ID (being used more and more to print, check out library books, etc) on them for their ID?

"I'm wondering what proof of citizenship evans0526 and other presumptive US citizens carry with them at all times?"

I carry at least two forms of ID with me at all times. It is not that big a deal to me.

39. jbbrandt - May 04, 2010 at 01:05 pm

In the State of Arizona, ANY legal resident can apply for a Driver's License or a State ID. I would be "perplexed" why someone does not have these with them. My wife is a green card holder. She has to carry it with her wherever we go. She forgot her papers - which she is supposed to carry on her at all times as prescribed by law - on a trip to Mexico, so we turned back at the boarder. We were stopped at a checkpoint South of Tucson and the M-16 carrying officer was not pleased she could not prove her legality. Fortunately, I had photo copies with me, but that did not stop her from the gift of a stern lecture. We never had that issue again. My wife is Chinese.

This is not about race. This is about dead policemen, murdered ranchers, raped teenagers, stolen cars, petty theft, trash, home invasion, drugs, and human smuggling, including underage prostitution. While the majority of illegals are decent people - including my next door neighbors (all 5 of the houses around me), it is a sad fact that the majority of the "immigrates" committing crimes are illegal.

There are almost 500,000 "undocumented" aliens estimated to live in Arizona. If people are here to better themselves without destroying this society, there are ways to apply for the proper papers. If they don't care enough about America to make that effort, then Arizona, rightly, says they can all move to San Francisco with our blessings.

When the employer sanction law went into effect, so many people self-deported that the city of Mesa closed two elementary schools. The economic burden of losing the majority of illegals is undeniable. The cost to society of letting them stay is greater, both in monetary considerations and cultural. My wife, at least, is learning English. My neighbors are not.

If you don't live with the probem, your opinions are meaningless.

40. dogood1776 - May 04, 2010 at 01:07 pm


If a person - any person - breaks the law and as a consequence are stopped by the police, I expect the police to detain them if they cannot produce identification. I would expect that to be standard procedure even if the Arizona immigration law did not exist. Speeding? "Let me see your driver's license and registration, please..." Under the Arizona law, however, a request for ID will be made only if the police officer has "probable cause" to suspect a person is illegal. And this is a problem? Shoot, it has always been the duty of law enforcement personnel to stop and possibly detain someone if there is probable cause to suspect they have done something that is illegal. This is nothing new. What is it about the word "illegal" that you don't understand?

41. headmin - May 04, 2010 at 01:13 pm

Wow, so many have bought into the bunk enforcing the existing federal law regarding illegals is somehow racist. Have you noticed Pheonix is the number 1 kidnapping location in the the nation? Arizona's choice to enforce the existing laws is in response to rampant crime generated by violence associated with drug trafficking.

Have you ever bothered to think how many times a day an average citizen shows their ID? The law in Arizona specifically states a person will not be checked for citizenship unless they have been first detained for another breach of the law.

Administration after administration has known about the massive influx of illegals into our country yet have refused to do anything to close the borders. Arizona has the courage to enforce illegal immigration laws already on the books because Washington lacks either spine or will.

Comparatively, a large number of immigrants enter our country legally and become citizens legally. This issue has nothing to do with race and everything to do with a political game to generate partisan votes.

So would some suggest we continue to look the other way and ignore equal justice under the law and allow social justice to supercede?

What prevents any citizen vying for the same jobs? Having lived and worked in Iowa for years I have encounted countless young people who worked the summer detassling corn. This is not a nice job. The work is labor intensive, long hours, often during the hottest time of the year and the corn leafage can cut you. Yet scores of non-minority citizen young people work the detassling jobs every summer and are happy to have the work. To assume only illegals are willing to do certain work is also bunk.

The villian is not the state of Arizona but federal government bureacrats, union leaders,drug lords and employers, who are using people in this country illegally as pawns for their own profit and political gain.

42. patyson - May 04, 2010 at 01:23 pm

A drivers license does not prove residency or citizenship...how many US citizens carry their passport around? If I got pulled over, I could not prove that I am in this country legally. I am Caucasian though, so I guess I am ok. My husband, on the other hand, moved to this country 11 years ago from Mexico (sworn in as a citizen 2 years ago) and I do not think it is right that he could potentially get detained because he "looks illegal because he is brown." Thankfully we do not reside in Arizona, but just in case Texas decides to follow suit, he will be getting a US passport card which he can place in his wallet and carry around with him. Sad though, that this is necessary....

43. evans0526 - May 04, 2010 at 01:51 pm

Patyson, I applaud your husband' s legal immigration to this country. He clearly followed the rules, unlike so many others. However, I beg to differ with your assertion that a drivers license does not prove residency.

This is taken directly from the Texas DPS site: "A driver license is no longer used solely as a document demonstrating authorization to drive. The driver license or identification certificates are the nationally accepted form of identification and both are used daily to establish identity at airports, banks, when writing checks, voting, or applying for governmental aid. Due to their extensive use as a person's primary source of identity the department has the responsibility to correctly determine an applicant's identity."

There are lists of documents that one must provide that will prove an applicant's identity, and that he/she is in the country legally.

I believe the above also addresses Perplexed (and yes, I carry my license with me at all times, as well as my passport--it's in a hidden compartment in my purse).

So, my original question has not been addressed...where is the rational argument as to why it is offensive to be asked for ID in US?

44. welldeanda - May 04, 2010 at 04:54 pm

In response to comment 2," must involve the cop questioning someone, first, about an entirely different infraction than being in the US illegally...why?" Why because we are acutely aware that like all humans, police officers are not infallible, they can either make a mistake or intentionally give false evidence and pull over an individual and question if they reside in this country legally. This law is ripe for abuse, it the abuse will be directed to those individuals who the most vulnerable in our society, those who will have no voice legally or are even viewed as having any value to American society.

The new Arizona law may make an interesting social-economic experiment, but fails miserably at any moral or ethical value to our society.

45. opinionated_party - May 07, 2010 at 08:48 am

With regard to the quote, "our intention is to make Arizona a very uncomfortable place for them to be so they leave or never come here in the first place," Arizona has become a true overachiever in this respect, with the "them" in question extending far beyond the intended target. They have had the same effect on me (white, non-Latina, U.S.-born citizen from two U.S.-born parents and granddaughter of legal immigrants) for a decade, which is why in my post-grad-school position search, Arizona was the one state anywhere in the South or West whose universities could not possess a job so tempting that this Ph.D.-holder would apply there. So long as Kavanagh believes it is in his state's best interests to run off my kind as well -- and perhaps it is, since God knows *I'd* never vote for the man -- he should be well pleased with his accomplishment.

A parting aside: Those of you who assert it's simply a matter of waiting one's turn or going through the proper steps show a level of ignorance regarding American immigration policy that's so astounding it almost HAS to be willfully cultivated.

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