Immigration Law: Designed to Give Cops a Reason To Hassle Hispanics in Crowded Houses?

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Evan Wyloge of the Arizona Capitol Times reports on an e-mail between state Sen. Russell Pearce and Kris Kobach, an attorney who helped draft Arizona immigration law:

But an e-mail that Pearce accidentally sent to a Tucson resident, and which was then passed to lawmakers and media indicates that the slight change was intended to clarify that police would be able to use violations of property codes, such as cars on blocks in the yard, or rental codes, such as too many occupants of a rental unit, to initiate contact.

The e-mail appears to have been sent from Kris Kobach, a former aide to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft in the Department of Justice, and who is running as a Republican for secretary of state in Kansas.

Both Pearce and Kobach said they would not comment on the validity of the E-mail, but neither denied its legitimacy.

The changes that were outlined in the e-mail were adopted as an amendment to H2162 minutes before the legislative conference committee agreed to its final version. The bill received a final vote hours later.

The body of the e-mail in its entirety follows:

From: Kobach, Kris W.
To: russellpearce ; rpearce@azleg.gov
Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 7:42 PM
Subject: One more change!

Russell,

I discussed all of the changes with Mike Hethmon and he concurred. But there is one additional point that he suggested—which you will certainly agree with. When we drop out “lawful contact” and replace it with “a stop, detention, or (ar)rest, in the enforcement a violation of any title or section of the Arizona code” we need to add “or any county or municipal ordinance.” This will allow police to use violations of property codes (ie, cars on blocks in the yard) or rental codes (too many occupants of a rental accommodation) to initiate queries as well.

I have not received anything from the people on the phone this afternoon. Please ensure that they make this addition as well. Thanks!

Kris

***This communication is protected by attorney-client privilege. Do not share with others.

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