Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Video exemplifies SB 1070 confusion: Police can and do alert immigration authorites, even in CA

This video taken yesterday in Arizona is making the Twitter rounds via YouTube.

The video shows the arrest of a motorist in Tucson, stopped for a traffic violation, on grounds of her immigration status with the statement that SB 1070 is "in FULL effect." And it's an example of just how complicated and confusing matters have become following last week's ruling by a federal judge blocking certain sections of the law, which was partially implemented last Thursday.

One of the sections blocked by last week's injunction was a requirement that police attempt to ascertain the immigration status of people stopped or detained during regular law enforcement activity. However, just because there is no longer a requirement, there is nothing on the books preventing them from asking, either. A section of the law that was implemented last week allows the state to ban so-called "sanctuary" policies by law enforcement agencies or jurisdictions, i.e. policies that limit local officers' enforcement of federal immigration laws. The law as implemented also allows citizens to sue agencies that adopt such a policy.

It's not uncommon for local cops to alert immigration authorities when they detain people suspected of being undocumented, including in California. Different jurisdictions have different policies: For example, in Los Angeles, the LAPD's Special Order 40 prohibits officers from questioning people for the sole purpose of determining immigration status.