City council questions implementing SB 1070
CREATED Jun. 26, 2012
Reporter: Jessica Chapin
TUCSON (KGUN9- TV) - For the first time since Monday's Supreme Court ruling on SB 1070, city leaders are sitting down to discuss what comes next. A study session Tuesday allowed some of them to ask questions for law enforcement and blow off steam.
"I think it's a horrible ruling," said council member Steve Kozachik.
The court struck down several provisions placed under injunction, but upheld a key component requiring officers to check legal status of an individual if they have reasonable suspicion they are in the country illegally.
Shortly after the ruling, the Obama Administration announced DHS was no longer responding to status inquiries other than to verify, under most circumstances.
"I guess my sense is that it puts you totally at the mercy of DHS in terms of that verification phone call," said Kozachik to Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor, "It's millions of dollars for the city in terms of holding people."
Questions from council members like Regina Romero regarding enforcement were difficult to answer. The law is now back in the hands of Judge Bolton, who issued the original injunction.
"There are still some unanswered questions, we do not have a time-line as to when the implementation," said Villasenor, "For now, we are not implementing any changes to TPD's policies practices and procedures."
It could be at least July 20th before the law goes into effect. City leaders do plan to continue a dialog with the community to make sure everyone is informed about how this could impact them.
Villasenor says police will continue to work with other agencies and attorneys to determine how to best implement the law.
"There's just a lot of tension about it," he said, "and everyone needs to wait and see how we can work through this together."