WASHINGTON (JTA) — Three national Jewish groups urged Arizona’s governor to veto a bill that would force local authorities to enforce federal immigration law.
If passed, the bill "would make state and local law enforcement officers’ jobs nearly impossible, and would bring us further from, not closer to, the goal we all share of making our communities safer," said the letter sent Monday from the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs to Gov. Jan. Brewer, a Republican. "It would also cause hardship to countless Arizona residents — U.S. citizens, legal immigrants, and undocumented immigrants alike — who if this law is passed will live under a cloud of suspicion and fear."
The legislation, which becomes law unless Brewer vetoes it in the next five days, would require police to ask those suspected of being in the country illegally to produce documentation. It also would ban soliciting work from people on sidewalks if it slows traffic.
Brewer has said she has reservations about the bill, which would be the toughest such measure in the country.
Opponents are concerned that it could lead to racial profiling and inhibit undocumented workers from reporting crime.