Synopsis of SB 1070

Arizona’s Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (SB 1070) requires through force of state laws that officials and agencies of the state and political subdivisions fully comply with and assist in the enforcement of federal immigration laws and gives county attorneys subpoena power in certain investigations of employers. By and large it does this by making much of the federal code pertaining to illegal immigration part of Arizona state legal code, thereby bypassing jurisdictional issues.

Provisions of SB 1070


  1. Requires a reasonable attempt to be made to determine the immigration status of a person during any legitimate contact made by an official or agency of the state or a county, city, town or political subdivision (political subdivision) if reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the U.S.
  2. Requires the person’s immigration status to be verified with the federal government pursuant to federal law.
  3. Requires an alien unlawfully present in the U.S. who is convicted of a violation of state or local law to be transferred immediately to the custody of ICE or Customs and Border Protection, on discharge from imprisonment or assessment of any fine that is imposed.
  4. Allows a law enforcement agency to securely transport an alien who is unlawfully present in the U.S. and who is in the agency’s custody to:
    1. a federal facility in this state or
    2. any other point of transfer into federal custody that is outside the jurisdiction of the law enforcement agency.
  5. Allows a law enforcement officer, without a warrant, to arrest a person if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the U.S.
  6. Prohibits officials or agencies of the state and political subdivisions from being prevented or restricted from sending, receiving or maintaining an individual’s immigration status information or exchanging that information with any other governmental entity for the following official purposes:
    1. determining eligibility for any public benefit, service or license provided by any federal, state, local or other political subdivision of this state;
    2. verifying any claim of residence or domicile if that verification is required under state law or a judicial order issued pursuant to a civil or criminal proceeding in the state;
    3. confirming a detainee’s identity; and
    4. if the person is an alien, determining whether the person is in compliance with federal alien registration laws.
  7. Disallows officials or agencies of the state or political subdivisions from adopting or implementing policies that limit immigration enforcement to less than the full extent permitted by federal law, and allows a person to bring an action in superior court to challenge an official or agency that does so.
  8. Requires the court, if there is a judicial finding that an entity has committed a violation, to order any of the following:
    1. that the plaintiff recover court costs and attorney fees;
    2. that the defendant pay a civil penalty of not less than $1,000 and not more than $5,000 for each day that the policy has remained in effect after the filing of the action.
  9. Requires the court to collect and remit the civil penalty to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), which must establish a special subaccount for the monies in the account established for the Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission (GIITEM) appropriation.
  10. Specifies that law enforcement officers are indemnified by their agencies against reasonable costs and expenses, including attorney fees, incurred by the officer in connection with any action, suit or proceeding brought pursuant to this statute to which the officer may be a party by reason of the officer being or having been a member of the law enforcement agency, except in relation to matters in which the officer is adjudged to have acted in bad faith.

Trespassing by Illegal Aliens

  1. Specifies that, in addition to any violation of federal law, a person is guilty of trespassing if the person is:
    1. present on any public or private land in the state and
    2. is not carrying his or her alien registration card or has willfully failed to register.
  2. Requires, in the enforcement of this statute, the final determination of an alien’s immigration status to be determined by:
    1. a law enforcement officer who is authorized to verify or ascertain an alien’s immigration status or
    2. a law enforcement officer or agency communicating with ICE or the U.S. Border Protection.
  3. Stipulates that a person is not eligible for suspension or commutation of sentence or release on any basis until the sentence imposed is served.
  4. Directs the person to pay jail costs and an additional assessment of at least $500 for the first violation or at least $1,000 for subsequent offenses.
  5. Requires the court to collect and remit the assessments to DPS for the special GIITEM subaccount.
  6. Specifies that the trespassing statute does not apply to a person who maintains authorization from the federal government to remain in the U.S.
  7. Classifies the violation as follows:
    1. a class 2 felony if the person commits the violation while in possession of a dangerous drug, precursor chemicals used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine, a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument or property that is used for committing an act of terrorism;
    2. a class 4 felony for a second or subsequent offense or if the person, within 60 months before the violation, accepted a voluntary removal from the U.S. or has been deported;
    3. a class 1 misdemeanor in all other cases.

Unlawful Stopping and Solicitation of Work

  1. Specifies that it is unlawful, if a motor vehicle is stopped on a street, roadway or highway and blocks or impedes the normal movement of traffic:
    1. for a motor vehicle occupant to attempt to hire or hire and pick up passengers for work at a different location;
    2. for a person to enter the motor vehicle in order to be hired by a motor vehicle occupant and to be transported to work at a different location.
  2. Stipulates that it is unlawful for a person who is unlawfully present in the U.S. and who is an unauthorized alien to knowingly apply for work, solicit work in a public place or perform work as an employee or independent contractor in Arizona.
  3. Classifies these offenses as class 1 misdemeanors.

Unlawful Transporting

  1. Specifies that it is unlawful for a person to do or attempt to do the following if the person knows or recklessly disregards the fact that the alien has come to, has entered or remains in the U.S. in violation of law:
    1. transport or move an alien in Arizona in a means of transportation;
    2. conceal, harbor or shield an alien from detection in any place in Arizona, including any building or means of transportation.
  2. Stipulates it is unlawful to encourage or induce an alien to come to or reside in Arizona if the person knows or recklessly disregards the fact that such coming to, entering or residing in this state is or will be in violation of law.
  3. Subjects a means of transportation used in the commission of a violation to mandatory vehicle immobilization or impoundment.
  4. Classifies these offenses as class 1 misdemeanors and subjects offenders to fines of at least $1,000, except that a violation that involves 10 or more illegal aliens is a class 6 felony with a fine of at least $1,000 for each alien who is involved.

Investigations of Employers

  1. Allows the county attorney, in investigations of employers who are alleged to have knowingly or intentionally hired unauthorized aliens, to take evidence, administer oaths or affirmations, issue subpoenas requiring attendance and testimony of witnesses and cause depositions to be taken.
  2. Exempts proceedings held during the course of a confidential investigation from open meeting laws.
  3. Stipulates that an employer is not entrapped in an investigation if the employer was predisposed to knowingly or intentionally employ an unauthorized alien and law enforcement officers or their agents merely provided the employer with an opportunity to do so.
  4. States that it is not entrapment for law enforcement officers or their agents merely to use a ruse or to conceal their identities.
  5. Directs employers to keep verification records of their employees’ work eligibility through E-Verify.
  6. Establishes a class 3 felony for failing to:
    1. verify employment eligibility through E-Verify or
    2. keep records of verifications.

This is only a brief synopsis of Arizona’s SB 1070. The full text of the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act is available in PDF format from the Arizona State Legislature.

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14 Responses to “Synopsis of SB 1070”

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  2. Jay Burns Says:

    I fear this bill may be unconstitutional because it is not clear as to what constitutes “reasonable suspicion”. Is reasonable suspicsion the simple act of being brown? One could argue that it is and would constitute an unreasonable search and seizure, therefore a violation of the 4th Amendment.

    I also don’t like the precident this sets of requiring individuals to carry paperwork proving they are resident aliens or citizens at all time. This places the burden of proof on the accused and flies in the face of our time honored justice principles.

    Don’t be misled, I am not soft on illegal immigration. I would like to see the state declare a few hundred feet this side of the border as military base property. Anyone who crosses will be invading a military base and shot on site. Simple solution. You only have to step over a few dead bodies before you begin to reconsider your method of entry into this country.

  3. jonolan Says:


    It’s also not clear, in the sense of being fully codified, anywhere in the laws of America what constitutes “probably cause” or “exigent circumstances,” yet those are integral parts of our legal system. This is no different once one gets past the knee jerk reaction to think in terms of racism – not that such an initial reaction is unexpected or to be too harshly condemned.

    Much as “driving while Black” was a real problem that was dealt with effectively through court rulings and their resulting precedents, abuse of SB 1070 by bigoted police will be a short-lived phenomenon.

    As for the “burden of proof” – this law is no incremental loss or change. We all already have to carry our identity papers / IDs with us at all or most times. Try dealing with businesses, travel systems, or the law without your state issued photo ID and/or your SSI# sometime.

  4. Cyndi Says:

    I don’t understand why all the hoopla about this bill. It requires AZ officials and agencies of the state to comply with previously enacted federal laws.

    It has been on the law books for years that employers face high fines and other repercussions/sanctions for knowingly employing persons that have ILLEGALLY entered the US. Using the E-Verify system to determine legal status of a person covers the employer from being fined, etc.

    Reasonable suspicion, aka probable cause aka good faith, has always been a semi-gray area in federal and state laws and courts. The bill allows officials and agencies of the state to report to other government agencies (ICE, Border Patrol, etc).

    I don’t see where there is a problem working with other entities, rather than against them. If agencies/officials don’t work together, they are a waste of taxpayers money because they are just spinning their wheels, making dust, but getting nowhere. A waste of time and money and it makes us (the country as a whole) look like a joke.

    Read Mexico’s Immigration Laws ( ) if you want to see some tough laws. The bill also prevents officials and agencies from enacting laws/provisions/regulations that circumvent or are lesser than current federal laws.

    All of the hoopla is just a bunch of hot air by those who are misinformed, misinterpreting, or outright blowing it out of proportion.

    On a more personal note: If I (a non-Hispanic) am stopped by the police and do not have identification, I will be ticketed. Why should it be any different for Hispanics to be required to produce identification whether here legally or not? If my identification appears falsified, it/me will be investigated and if I am caught lying to the police I face penalties. Why shouldn’t those of all races have to follow the same rules?

    It doesn’t make sense to say that illegal aliens are being treated unfairly because they are illegal! Because they knowingly are committing a crime when entering the US illegally, they shouldn’t be required to follow the laws that citizens of the US have to follow? Gimme a break!

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  6. Jay Burns Says:

    You may be right regarding the short lived abuses of this law. As for the id thing that is true when you are behind the wheel of a vehicle. Not true for simply walking down the street. Again, I’m all for enforcement I’m not for doing away with our constitution to get there.

  7. jonolan Says:


    If a cop stops for some reason – legal contact – you while you’re walking down the street you will be required to produce ID or likely face being detained while they determine who your are. That’s been the case for many decades and why I say that SB 1070 is no incremental change or loss to anyone’s constitutional rights.


    Welcome and well-said on all counts.

  8. Vishnu Says:

    The “reasonable suspicion” to detain and investigate is already the standard. It is known as a “Terry Stop.” It must be based on specific and articulable facts and inferences of criminal activity, not merely the whims of the enforcement officer.

    A Terry Stop is precisely what the bill appears to contemplate. An arrest (warrantless or not) is governed by the “probable cause standard.

    Beyond the potential for abuse (which exists irrespective of the bill), I don’t understand the allegation that the standards are unconstitutional (from a federal standpoint) either.

  9. Denying Atzlan (NSFW) | Reflections From a Murky Pond Says:

    […] Synopsis of SB 1070 […]

  10. Responding To Calderon | Reflections From a Murky Pond Says:

    […] POTUS and Congress and had the unmitigated gall to deride and lecture them on Arizona’s new immigration law. It was most obviously displeased with the thought that it’s sort wouldn’t have […]

  11. Political Junkie Says:

    I have heard more persons discussing that the law is Unconstitutional under the Supremacy Clause. The Supremacy Clause forbids state and local laws that contradict federal laws in matters where the federal government has authority to act.

    Once again it only applies in situations where the law contradicts the current law. Arizona’s law requires that State/Local authorities hand over suspect illegals to the proper federal authorities. Maybe you have forgotten (since we haven’t enforced these laws) but it is still a crime to enter our country illegally.

    But as long as we are talking about Constitutionality let’s talk about the Commerce Clause with the Constitution (Article I, Section 8). This clause prohibits states and localities from passing laws that burden interstate or foreign commerce by, among other things, creating “discriminations favorable or adverse to commerce with specific foreign nations.”

    Boycotting Arizona is UNCONSTITUTIONAL so knock it off already. Also to the Arizona government, how about we step up and actually file suit against these cities?

  12. jonolan Says:

    Well, Americans can expect no better from Liberals and their minority tenants. They don’t care about America or our laws except when they can corrupt them for their own selfish benefit.

  13. A Sad But Fair Ruling | Reflections From a Murky Pond Says:

    […] knows, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton on Wednesday, halted implementation of the parts of the law that require police to determine the status of people they stop and think are in the country […]

  14. Enforcing The Law | Reflections From a Murky Pond Says:

    […] bulk of the Liberals love the fact that President Obama has sued Arizona over SB 1070. This is for a variety of reasons, all of which mark them as enemies of […]

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