Regardless, the state means business; it intends to enforce public policy it says the federal government is not. The new law was written to "discourage and deter" illegal aliens from crossing the border and perpetrating violent crimes involving kidnapping, illegal drug activity and murder, regardless what federal statistics say (that there has been less violent crime in Arizona in the last three years).
As word got out and news coverage advanced, the controversial law created what Estrada calls "hysteria" all over the country, and internationally.
In the middle of all of this chaos, AZ POST was charged with creating the training program that would educate state law enforcement agencies about the new laws derived from SB 1070; there were more than a dozen to decipher. At a cost of $14,000 to produce, the video project included legal advice, handouts, and several cautions against what spurred the controversial debate in the first place—the threat of racial profiling. The agency hired immigration law expert Beverly Ginn of Tucson to tell officers what they can expect as they begin implementing the new law under the national spotlight. Expect "to be challenged," she said on video, "To be audio and video taped, to be questioned, to be scrutinized."
Law enforcement officials also weighed in, telling officers, "Nothing in the law allows racial profiling, unless it's part of the suspect's description."
The solution, said Paul Babeau, sheriff of Pinal County, located along one of the major smuggling corridors, is to "document, document, document."
Basically, the video pushes a "You can't do it," message, geared toward first responders.
In order to find cohesion in the chaos, Mann even interviewed Tucson Police Department 30-year veteran Roberto Villaseñor, who does not agree with SB 1070 but declares in the video, "we will uphold the law."
More than 3,800 officers signed the tracking system to certify they'd watched the video. Some watched it via intranet. Others watched it together with their training coordinators. Department heads received their own copies. In eight instances that Mann is aware of, departments or agencies hired a legal expert to watch the video with them and help further explain the law. The Northern Arizona University (NAU) Police Department in Flagstaff was one of them.
NAU Police Chief Greg Fowler, who says his agency already works with Ginn, brought her up from Tucson in a coordinated effort to help train the 200 officers who patrol the country's second largest county (Coconino). He invited agencies in Flagstaff, Sedona, Williams, Page, Coconino County, and the Arizona Department of Public Safety to an auditorium on campus to watch the video and ask the what-if questions not included on film.
"We train together all the time," says Fowler, suggesting it helps keep costs down, especially since AZ POST plans to reimburse Ginn's $1,500 invoice. The other benefit of such a collaboration, he says, is to be able to "enforce the law in the same fashion. We now have an equal understanding of the law."
The training isn't complete yet.
While AZ POST staff and consultants were busy dealing with changes that took place during the video planning and production process, lawsuits against the state piled up—seven at summer's last count, including one filed by the United States Department of Justice, claiming the law's unconstitutionality and asking for an injunction. That would be the one first heard in court—and so far, the only one.
Before SB 1070 had a chance to take effect, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton did, indeed, sign an injunction, but only against the four most controversial parts of the law, those that appeared to preempt federal law, including the sections involving:
_when immigration status can be checked.
_when a person should be carrying immigration or alien registration papers.
_when unauthorized aliens solicit, apply for, or perform work.
Among the portions of the law still in effect:
_Arizona officials, agencies, and political subdivisions cannot limit enforcement of federal immigration laws.
_State officials must work with federal officials when dealing with unlawfully present aliens.
_Legal residents may sue any state official, agency, or political subdivision for adopting a policy of restricting enforcement of federal immigration laws to
less than the full extent permitted by federal law.