An Arizona law known as SB1070 was enacted in 2010. It exposes undocumented aliens to detention and deportation if the police stop them for even minor violations such as an illegal u-turn. Driving to the store for milk may result in being deported. Walking a child to school may result in being detained.
Advocates for migrants say undocumented aliens have lived in fear since the law passed. The law “was clearly an attempt to put the entire Latino community under siege, and to a certain extent, it has succeeded” one said.
The sheriff of Maricopa County (Phoenix) is known as being very tough on migrants, stating “We’ve been arresting more illegals than we did in the past.”
The Department of Homeland Security reports that the 360,000 illegal immigrants in Arizona is the lowest number since 2000. Fewer babies are being born. Enrollment in schools is down. Businesses serving the migrant community are closing.
Federal courts ruled some of the SB1070 law’s most severe restrictions unconstitutional. The United States Supreme Court will review the law on April 25, 2012. Migrant advocates say whatever the Supreme Court does, it will be a long time before undocumented migrants feel safe in Arizona.