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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Law profs debate SB1070 effects

More than 100 people gathered for a panel discussion on Arizona’s controversial immigration bill, S.B. 1070.

The three-member panel consisted of two professors from the James E. Rogers College of Law, Marc Miller and Jack Chin, and a lawyer, Paul Eckstein. They met at the College of Law buildingon Thursday afternoon.

The panel looked to use law theory as a backdrop to address certain areas of the bill that have not been discussed as broadly as the more controversial sections.

In Miller’s view, the main question behind the bill’s theory is to determine what is wrong with enforcing federal law that already exists. And according to Miller, that’s what the state of Arizona claims to be trying to do: “”enhance, assist, fulfill”” federal law that, so far, hasn’t been efficiently enforced.

He also spoke of the ideological history behind S.B. 1070, which derived mainly from a former attorney at the Justice Department during the Bush administration who found success with the idea among legislators and public figures after leaving the Justice Department.

When asked about states following Arizona’s example and writing individual bills, Eckstein mentioned the effects on foreign policy and how immigration relates directly to the policies in place.

“”There’s a federal policy that’s designed to be uniform,”” Eckstein said.

Chin iterated his belief that the only way the state can deal with illegal aliens within the constraints of the bill is to arrest them, as opposed to the several other possibilities in existing federal law. Such possibilities include forced or self-deportation.

Outside of the classroom where the panel was held, two students who sat in on the discussion talked passionately about the issue.

Edwin Slade, a second year law student who said he has read the entire bill, left the discussion wondering about “”limitations on states implementing federal laws that already exist.””

Brett Livingood, also a law student, stated that the issue is mainly about external relations.

“”International policy is extremely important,”” Livingood said. “”That’s why the immigration bill cannot even have a small variation.””

He went on to say that sustaining good relations with other nations is the most valuable impact the bill could have.

The most controversial aspects of S.B. 1070 are on hold per a court order in the federal government’s lawsuit against the bill. The case will begin again with a briefing in October, followed by hearings the first week of November.

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