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Riz Khan
Arizona's immigration law
Is the new legislation a means of racial profiling or a legitimate crime-fighting tool?
Last Modified: 12 May 2010 09:07 GMT

 

Struggling with an increase in violent crime amidst an economic downturn, the US state of Arizona is making an all out effort to tackle illegal immigration.

For more than 10 years Arizona's officials have asked the federal government to act to curtail illegal immigrants.

Now with more than 460,000 illegal immigrants residing within the state's borders and more than half the nation's illegal population entering the country via the Arizona border, the state's governor has signed a controversial new law aimed at curbing the trend.

The law mandates that immigrants carry valid identity documents and requires local police to verify the immigration status of an individual they suspect of being illegal.

Supporters say they are simply enforcing federal law where US immigration forces have failed to do so.

Opponents of the legislation say it will result in racial profiling and false arrests, particularly within Latino communities. Critics also argue it may lead to racially motivated violence.

An economic boycott of the state has begun and Latin American countries are weighing in against the law.

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The Obama administration is currently considering challenging the law in court.   

With a majority of Arizona's public behind the law, the Riz Khan show asks: Is Arizona's controversial law an effective answer to illegal immigration or a means of legalised racial profiling?

Joining the show are Miguel Tinker Salas, a professor of Latin American studies at Pomona College who specialises in border society, Randy Pullen, the chairman of the Arizona Republican party and treasurer of the Republican National Committee, and Lizette Jenness Olmos, the director of communications for the League of United Latin American Citizens.

Anand Naidoo sits in for Riz Khan.

This episode of the Riz Khan show aired from Tuesday, May 11, 2010.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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