Two letters to the Arizona Jewish Post (June 4) are confusing, based as they are on mistaken understanding of federal immigration law. Though both writers claim the Arizona statute is an exact copy of federal law, it isn’t.
SB 1070 defines a new crime; being an illegal is per se an offense, one punishable by up to a year in jail. Nothing comparable appears in federal law. A law officer is burdened to investigate an individual who is reasonably suspected of being here without authorization. Yet the legislature gives no guidance as to how the officer is to carry out that burden — skin color? or clothing? or inability to speak English?
Any baby born in the United States — unless the parents are here as diplomats — is a citizen of the United States. The new mother may have been here a day or of a family here for 300 years: it makes no difference under the federal constitution.
retired professor of political science and retired immigration lawyer,