US & Canada

Arizona immigration law: Your views

Protesters demonstrate against Arizona's immigration law in Phoenix, Arizona, 29 July, 2010
Image caption The new immigration law has sparked protests in Arizona

Arizona's governor has appealed against a US federal court's decision to block parts of an anti-immigration law hours before it came into effect.

The court issued a temporary injunction against a requirement that police check the immigration status of suspects they stop, while enforcing other laws.

A section making it a crime not to hold immigration papers was also blocked.

Here, readers in Arizona debate the law and discuss whether it should be blocked or allowed to proceed.

Alexandra Ormsby, Phoenix, Arizona

I'm a Hispanic US citizen and this law rubbed me the wrong way.

I would find it offensive if I had to carry documentation of US citizenship everywhere I went to prove that I'm American.

I've been living in the US since I was two, when I was adopted.

Yet when I go near the southern border of Arizona, I get lots of nasty looks, as though I shouldn't be there.

People assume I'm an immigrant and question whether I'm legal. I even get snide comments on how Hispanics should go back to where they came from.

I recognise that there is a problem with immigration but I don't see how this law would change that - it would just create more hostility.

There needs to be a better way of controlling how people are getting into the country, but we should also address the reason why people are so desperate to come here.

If we could improve their lives in Mexico, that would help.

Lisa Tizard, Anthem, Arizona

The entire immigration system in the US needs a radical overhaul.

Until then, Governor Brewer has without doubt acted in the best interests of the state in trying to change immigration policies.

Law enforcement officials in Arizona have always had the right to ask any person they stop for proof of identification.

Regardless of a person's race, colour or religion, if the person couldn't prove their identity they were taken down to the local police station until their identity was confirmed.

This has happened multiple times to American citizens. There are no exceptions.

The new immigration law in my opinion will not increase racial profiling.

Nobody is telling people they can't come to live and work in Arizona.

They are simply requesting that they do it the right way and through the right channels, like so many other people have to do every year for the right to live and work in the USA.

Ken, Tucson, Arizona

As a natural born US citizen, I must prove my citizenship to work.

I must be able to prove my citizenship when questioned at checkpoints - internally entering Arizona and at the US border.

I must provide my birth certificate when applying for a driver's licence, and I cannot obtain any government benefits without proving citizenship.

A US citizen is not permitted to enter Mexico illegally and no foreigner in Mexico is permitted to work in Mexico without proper authorisation and documentation.

While in Mexico I have been stopped for the single purpose to have my documents checked.

It's unreasonable that an illegal alien in Arizona or anywhere else in the US should have more rights than a citizen.

It's also unreasonable that Mexico, a country with harsher immigration laws than Arizona's immigration law, would complain about our laws in the US.

Arizona is overwhelmed with illegal immigrants; the federal government does little to make real progress at reducing illegal immigration.

Mexico receives an influx of cash from those working in the US illegally who send money home, so there's little motivation for the government to stimulate business or jobs there.

Recent polls show 70% of Arizona residents support the immigration law, so if the federal government wishes to overturn it they may be looking at a long road of political discontent.

This lawsuit against Arizona by the federal government is about authority and control - not rights.

Stephen Lucas, Phoenix, Arizona

I support the federal court's ruling.

Arizona's immigration law clearly violates the supremacy clause of the United States Constitution.

The federal government has the sole authority to determine immigration laws.

The United States clearly needs immigration reform. We need to look at what other countries are doing.

We need a guest worker programme and a method for children brought into the US by undocumented parents to apply for citizenship.

We need a high-tech virtual fence on our border with Mexico - not one made of bricks.

We Americans can't afford to build it or man it with troops.

The real key is what happens in Mexico and whether it will become a failed narco-state or a democracy.

If it fails, American military intervention may become necessary.

We need to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and focus on helping our southern neighbour stabilise its country and improve its economy.

Then Mexicans will not have to flee to America. They can stay home and enjoy their lives in safety and security.

Jeannie Grim, Mesa, Arizona

This law is unfair and targets Hispanics.

As a resident of Arizona for seven years, I find the news reporting of the "illegals" problem very biased, as it provides no actual number of how many "illegals" are in the state.

Also the situation along the border is not as severe as the media makes it sound.

The biggest problem we have is with the white supremacists who are flooding our state and spreading messages of hate, which only incite mass hysteria among our citizens.

Furthermore, Arizona police do not track crimes based on citizenship status, so we do not have an accurate number on how many crimes are committed by "illegal immigrants".

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