While praised by many immigration reform proponents, the law passed in Arizona that seeks to limit illegal immigration by making it a crime to be in the state without documentation has stirred controversy among many ethnic organizations.
Last week, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce criticized the law, saying it will result in the racial profiling of Latinos. It has now been joined by The Hispanic National Bar Association, whose representatives claim that the legislation raises "grave constitutional issues."
In addition to racial profiling, the alleged constitutional violations include freedom from unreasonable seizures and lack of due process guarantees, according to the association.
HNBA National President Roman D. Hernandez said that "if enacted, this law will create an impediment to effective police enforcement of major crimes."
He cited local law enforcement officials as saying that "Hispanics in general and undocumented persons in particular will be less willing to cooperate in providing information to police."
The Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhood Act was passed earlier this month and it makes it a state misdemeanor to fail to comply with Federal law requiring that foreign nationals register and carry their documents with them.
Moreover, it directs police officers to inquire as to immigration status on a "reasonable suspicion" that an individual is undocumented.