“Show me Your Papers” Law– HB 497, Utah
HB 497 law allows police officers to ask for documents to any person that they stop, detain, or arrest. These documents can include up to date proof of immigration status. According to the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union of Utah) this law presents some problems, especifically those related to racial stereotyping because the lack of fluent English, for example, can determine whether an officer decides to ask or not for these types of immigration documents. The “reasonable suspicion” argument invites law enforcement officials to “guess” the immigration status of a person based on stereotypes such as the color of the skin, the accent, or ethnicity. This is inconsistent with the Constitutional values of the United States. The ACLU states that “demanding “papers” based on a person’s appearance is not “reasonable” and is not constitutional.”
Even though Utah’s HB 497 law is written in a different manner, it still affects residents in a similar way to Arizona’s SB 1070 law. Both laws require all the residents of the state to carry specific documents at all times in case they are questioned or investigated about their imigration status by the local enforcement agents. The ACLU comments that both laws give authority to the officers to suspect the immigration status of any person that they detain for a crime or stop even for minor traffic violations such as jaywalking. Both laws also allow local and state officers to arrest any person without a warrant for “presumed violations of civil immigration laws.”
According to the ACLU, this law also disgresses from the “Utah Compact” which states that immigration is a federal issue, that the local law enforcement instiitutions should not focus on civil violations of the federal code, it opposes to the politics that separate the family, and recognizes the need to adopt a more humanitarian approach to immigration issues.
Source: ACLU – American Civil Liberties Union of Utah
For more information visit: http://www.aclu.org/immigrants-rights/la-aclu-y-la-nilc-entablan-demanda-impugnando-la-ley-muestreme-sus-papeles-de-utah