Most of the people talking about Arizona's new immigration law haven't read SB 1070.
That's what I discovered while talking to people at last week's rally at Armory Park. (See Best of WWW.) One person admitted that all he knew about the new law was what he had heard on the news.
Not knowing the details of the bill isn't his fault; it's ours—i.e., the media as a whole. Last week, Arizona State University journalism professor Tim McGuire called on the media to do justice to the immigration-bill story in his blog post, "AZ Journos Coverage of 1070 Could be Ticket to Heaven or Hell!"
Your friend, the Internet, is here to help. Here are some of the things SB 1070 (source: Arizona State Senate fact sheet):
• State agencies and officials will assist in enforcement of immigration laws.
• If a reasonable suspicion exists, state, county and municipal officials must determine the immigration status of a person.
• Trespassing by illegal aliens, unlawful stopping and solicitation of work and unlawful transportation of illegal immigrants are now misdemeanors in addition to being felonies.
• County attorneys can issue subpoenas in certain investigations of employers.
• A person may sue if the full extent of the federal law is not enforced.
Nowhere in the law does it call for racial profiling, but its definition of "reasonable suspicion" begs the question: What does an illegal immigrant look like? Presumably, this means everyone is under reasonable suspicion of being here illegally. Considering the lawsuits filed against SB 1070 so far, it will ultimately be up to a federal judge to determine what that "reasonable suspicion" entails.
We followed the fallout from the passage of SB 1070, from the national outcry to the local protests. We also brought you a whole bunch of polling data released by right-leaning Rasmussen Reports and left-leaning Public Policy Polling. You can check out this week's Skinny for details, but here are the major takeaways: Gov. Jan Brewer has solidified a lead in the GOP gubernatorial primary, and U.S. Sen. John McCain has a growing dissatisfaction problem among Arizona voters.
Speaking of the GOP primary: We brought you the news that Republican gubernatorial candidate John Munger asked fellow Republican Buz Mills to drop out of the race after it was revealed that Mills had faced legal problems regarding accusations that he defrauded a former business partner.
We let you know that Mr. An's Teppan Steak and Seafood Sushi Bar is now open for business; gave you the lowdown on harvesting cholla buds; and delivered the news that Monkey Burger and 47 Scott would be joining the list of new downtown restaurants.
We shared a Calexico video from Arizona Public Media, previewed the Shondes show at Plush, and gave away two tickets to the Monterey Jazz Festival at Centennial Hall.
We brought you photos of robots from former Tucson Weekly (and Phoenix New Times) photographer Tim Archibald, and other pics from UA journalism students Zinui Chen, Jazmine Woodberry, Kevin Cottingham, Kellie Mejdrich and Ashley James.
Tune in this week for your chance to win endangered-species condoms!
If you weren't one of the thousands of people who showed up at Armory Park to voice support and/or anger over SB 1070, we've got video and a slideshow from the event.
We talked with people from both sides (what a novel idea!) about what they thought of the immigration debate that has the whole country talking.
One thing on display: the worn-out trope of comparing whatever you're angry at to Hitler, à la the Tea Party. (This time, it's Gov. Jan Brewer who gets the infamous mustache on several anti-SB 1070 signs.)
"All you women who have birth certificates with surnames different from your married name, speak up. How can you prove you are a citizen or in the U.S. legally? All you blonde, blue-eyed people, speak up. How can you prove you are not refugees from Northern European countries?"
—Bette Bunker Richards, via Facebook, in response to our video of the April 24 SB 1070 protest outside of Rep. Raúl Grijalva's office.