Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, says Phoenix police are violating provisions of a contentious 2010 law known as SB 1070 that requires police to inquire about the immigration status of people they suspect are in the country illegally.
Kavanagh said Friday that policy changes the department adopted in July illegally restrict when officers can inquire about a person’s immigration status. In addition, a new procedure requiring a specialized supervisor to vet the request puts roadblocks in the process to check with federal immigration officials.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that police can’t hold someone longer than normally needed just to check their immigration status.
“These are pretty glaring violations of SB 1070,” Kavanagh said. “They shouldn’t have implemented a patently illegal police operations order.”
Kavanagh also said the policy on enforcement on school groups is illegal.
“They make their schools sanctuary islands,” he said. He said if police were called to a Friday night football game and suspected some adults were breaking the law and were also possibly illegally in the country, they couldn’t do anything.
“So you could have MS-13 gang members having amnesty while they’re on school grounds,” he said
Phoenix spokeswoman Julie Watters said the police policy was reviewed by numerous attorneys familiar with immigration law and is very similar to those in place in Mesa and Tucson.
“And, just like other cities throughout Arizona, our policy is designed to protect victims and witnesses and it complies with the directions we have received from school districts regarding school…
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