Late yesterday Arizona amended its controversial new anti–illegal immigration bill (SB 1070) to clarify several passages. While the changes weren’t necessary for some of us to understand the bill’s meaning and intent, they are probably a good idea, since the bill will undoubtedly be challenged in court. Those who didn’t want to read or understand the new law in the first place certainly won’t be mollified by a few changes in wording.
Among the changes, as described by USA Today’s On Deadline:
The phrase “lawful contact” would be changed to “lawful stop, detention or arrest” to clarify that an officer would not need to question a crime victim or witness about legal status.
The word “solely” would be eliminated from the sentence “A law enforcement official or agency … may not solely consider race, color or national origin” in establishing reasonable suspicion that someone is in the country illegally.
I appreciate Arizona’s intent, but as a rule I think trying to make legislation understandable to the average American (with an 8th grade reading level*) is a waste of time and resources.
*1/20/12 — The original link appears to be dead now. Until I find a good replacement, see here for several other citations.
Related Pied Type posts:
- It doesn’t take an act of Congress to fix immigration
- Arizona takes lead on illegal immigration
- I think they hit a nerve