Saying they wanted to repair the state’s economic climate, Mr. Hamer and other business leaders successfully fought a wave of bills cracking down even further on illegal immigration that Arizona lawmakers debated this year. Among them was a proposal to require hospitals and schools to determine the legal status of their patients or students.
In the wake of SB 1070, Hispanic-rights activists across the country urged a boycott of the state. Among those supporting the call was Rep. Raul Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat who was so angered by his state’s action that he asked companies to shun business there.
Mr. Grijalva rescinded his boycott call once the law was enjoined by a judge, but a year later he still argues that the legislation is a bad idea.
“If proponents were serious about immigration reform they would have pursued more effective and legally sound legislation. Instead, they scored a few quick political points and have left the issue on the back burner ever since,” he said. “By any measure, SB 1070’s enforcement-only approach is an insufficient solution to a nationwide issue that demands more thoughtful treatment.”
New crop of stars
Nationwide, the law helped create a host of new political stars.
Mrs. Brewer, who ascended to the governorship after Gov. Janet A. Napolitano, a Democrat, left to join President Obama’s Cabinet, cruised to re-election while vastly expanding her national profile. Kris Kobach, a law professor who worked on the legislation’s language, has become Kansas’ secretary of state, and former Rep. Nathan Deal’s promise to pursue a similar bill in Georgia helped him win the Georgia governor’s race last year.
Mr. Deal said this week that he would sign an Arizona-style crackdown that is making its way through the Georgia legislature, and similar legislation has been debated in statehouses across the country.
But successful copycats have been the exception rather than the rule, and the ardor in Arizona for going further has diminished.
The law has not been totally overturned, however.
The district court let stand provisions of SB 1070 designed to end so-called “sanctuary city” policies. State law enforcement officers now cannot be prevented from reporting to federal officials illegal immigrants they encounter in the course of their regular duties.
Also in effect are provisions that allow officers to ticket day laborers and the employers trying to hire them if they are deemed to be impeding traffic. Those provisions’ goal was to try to put pressure on contractors and small-time employers not to turn to illegal labor.
But Sheriff Larry A. Dever, whose Cochise County jurisdiction shares 82 miles of border with Mexico, said he doesn’t know of any law enforcement agencies that are actively using that part of the law.
“The whole thing is still on the shelf until the Supreme Court hears it,” he said.
Defending the law