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April 29th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

Is 'reasonable suspicion' reasonable?

(CNN) – President Obama says Arizona's controversial new immigration law comes with "great risk." The measure gives police the power to stop anyone who raises a "reasonable suspicion." The president says we need to slow down and get immigration reform right.

Those two words, "reasonable suspicion," are at the core of the controversy. How do you define it? How far can cops actually go to act on it? Our Casey Wian is in Arizona to find out.


Filed under: Controversy • Immigration
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. lee

    you think Obama being commander and chief would support Arizona for upholding the federal law on immigration. I wish our President would support the law that he swore to protect when he took office instead of running down the state that is doing his job for him

    May 8, 2010 at 5:35 am |
  2. jmz

    Lafenmom May 1st, 2010 6:07 am ET

    Anyone here realize that Mexico's unemployment rate is actually lower than the US's???

    yeah cuz they are all over here! also you really cant compare the 2 rates..different infrastructure

    May 3, 2010 at 8:15 am |
  3. jmz

    SANT- your comment of how there are criminals legal citizens etc has no real bearing on the topic at hand. Nobody is saying that there are not criminals who are whire or legal citizens. We are saying we do not need to import criminals, and that if these people were white everyone would be screaming to get us out. There is NO logical reason for illegal immigration,.,.none. The problem is we have let it go so long(again) We do not have a choice but to be drastic. If you want to stop this stuff you need to be willing to hurt someones feelings. This law has NOTHING to do with racism. and the only racial profiling done would be because not only latinos make up the largest portion of illegals, but they are also the most proud and vocal of that fact. thats not racial profiling thats common sense. its like me standing out in fron of a strangers house at 3am with a ski mask a sak and a crobar and crying about sterotypes if the police start to ask me questions. We have been more than fair. they broke the law period..no more amnesty, because that only encourages more crime. I agree we need to hit the companies that hire illegals too. and that starts with you..dont patronize thoes places and report thoes that do hire illegals. Look bro, im not saying if i was in their situation i would not be doing the same thing..hell i would prob do dfar worse. ill fully admit that if i was like them i would be robbing people. but that dosent mean im gonna let them rob me and get away with it!

    May 3, 2010 at 8:13 am |
  4. Lafenmom

    Anyone here realize that Mexico's unemployment rate is actually lower than the US's???

    May 1, 2010 at 6:07 am |
  5. Patrick M. Murphy

    Good Morning,
    I've been watching cnn since 4am here in texas and you can sure tell what side you are on when it comes to illegal immigration. What is wrong with everyone, I'm all for legal immigration that is how most of us got here but to let people who have broken the law just get away with it and ignore it is wrong. I can guarantee if I broke the law they would be after me and what is wrong with people being able to prove that they are here legally if asked, I do !!

    April 30, 2010 at 9:33 am |
  6. nancy

    The Border Patrol need more funding for agents, drone aircraft, helicopters, dogs, vehicles of every type. What's wrong with sending in "National" Guard troops to help out?? WE as a Nation need to take back the borders!!

    There are so many LARGE American companies that are hiring this "cheap" labor. THEY, need to be fined or closed, but there are too many political hotshots in their back pockets and nothing will be done.

    @ Javier ~~ get real.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:19 am |
  7. Steven Richardson

    The rhetoric about this law has gotten completely out of hand and CNN is just fueling the fire with stories like the last one I just watched "DOG'S ARE TREATED BETTER" , you would think this was a hunt down latino and erase them law instead of a an illeagle alien recognition and serve them justice law by deporting, not torturing or worse etc... Come on CNN don't use tactics such as a poor citizen that knows her husband is breaking the law and showing her devasted because he is supposedly as terrified as she is. She could have applied for a green card for him and helped him to earn his citizenship. What is wrong with peoples thinkng these days?

    April 30, 2010 at 8:06 am |
  8. Patrick M. Murphy

    Good Morning,
    If I was caught breaking and entering I'd be arrested and have to take my punishment. Why isn't that so for people breaking into our country illegally.
    If immigration laws were being enforced we would not be having this discussion and there is nothing wrong if someone is stopped by the police to have to show identiity and if they don't have any to be checked out we are living in a dangerous world arent we !!

    April 30, 2010 at 5:50 am |
  9. Geoff Langley

    Failure of USCG in Revised OPA Regulations.

    The USCG is responsible for a significant change to the OPA 90 regulations.

    The USCG cut the requirements for local contractors to cover the first response capabilities. OPA '90 was legislated and demanded that oil companies be able to respond using PRIVATE resources to respond to a 1 hour spill for containment for a 1000 gal spill . This was termed “Average Most Probable Spill". ( AMPD ) and tiered response over a period of hours upto a “Worst Case Discharge”.

    As a result of the government putting aside (AMPD) requirement that an oil company no longer had to rely on any external resources to handle a simple spill, they the regulators and the oil companies lost over 50% of the private companies that invested thousands of dollars to have” first responders” trained in oil & hazardous material handling being able to respond under the OSHA, EPA, and USCG regulations.

    The USCG is in part responsible for this SONS ( Spill of Significant National Interest). This is the first which a name created after the Exxon Valdez in 1989.

    I am an environmental professional in dealing with spills. This one will in fact far exceed the Exxon Valdez in terms of costs and economic impact to the company hopefully not the environment.

    I would not wish to be the CEO of BP at this point.

    ( PS: Exxon has yet to pay Punitive damages)

    April 29, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  10. Lafenmom

    How long can we sustain federal mandates that they do not fund, support, or enforce? Why should individuals pay federal tax dollars only to have the Federal Government withhold that money unless the state bows to federal mandates they could never get past the supreme court?

    April 29, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
  11. preshus

    I am all for the law...I am of mexican decent and don't consider it racial profiling I will prove that I am a citizen 20 times a day if I have to because I have nothing to fear. My father came from mexico years ago and gained his citizenship the right way, learned to speak read and write english. I don't feel that because they come from mexico and have children here give them the right to stay.... I say deport them all, along with their american made children and when the children are of age then they can come back if they want to, unless they have some one here that is legal to help raise them without the help of our goverment assistance of Welfare. It angers me to see how we have catered to the hispanics with signs, translators and even as far as hiring bilingual teachers. We have Japanese and French etc. speaking people that don't get that luxury. I personally feel that it should became a nationwide law.

    April 29, 2010 at 8:12 pm |
  12. javier

    i dont agree at all put yourselves in other peoples shoes
    MEXICANS ALL DAY LONG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 29, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  13. Kurt w

    I can see the issue from either side. However, had the illegals entered North Korea, they wouldn't be flaunting it on CNN. If they were illegal in Iran, they wouldn't be marching on foot for 1500 miles (which I doubt they did) and then appear on the news crying that they got a bad deal. Their parents brought them here, own property, maybe haven't paid taxes and likely collected welfare. Can anyone rationalize why I should be paying for all of this??

    On the other hand, borders are all artificial and if you were born on this planet, what authority could possibly provide justification for geographic restriction?
    kw

    April 29, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
  14. Hannah

    You guys only want them here when u need there service...Thatz called using sombody last time i checked.... then when u dnt have a need for them anymore they are like throw-aways that u dnt want how wrong is that!!!!????

    April 29, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  15. Hannah

    This world is soo...nobody wants to give anyone a chance we say we are proud American blah blah blah but dnt care about anyone really but our self's think about it if we didn't have immigrants how do you think you get most of your construction done fast, right, and at a good price!!!!! small projects, goods, services....ext

    April 29, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  16. pauly

    No one has the "right"; human, civil or otherwise; to illegally enter another country. This fact alone should mute any arguement but for some reason it doesn't. – Why???

    April 29, 2010 at 10:12 am |
  17. Mary Lou Mobray

    Please tell me why are you not focusing on SUPPLY AND DEMAND, the illegals come over because Amercians want cheap labor but do not want to pay the price of taxes. Cut off the demand and it will lower the supply.
    (1) Start putting American's in jail for hiring illegals, just like they put people in jail for assisting in a crime. Do a HOT LINE!
    (2) Make them serve a mandatory 3 day sentence and fine them so the fines can support the cost of having illegals in our country.
    (3) Start publishing on the internet people who use illegals so when they complaint, people can identify them as law breakers.

    Why aren't the Arizona lawmakers concentrating on American's who break the law by hiring illegals, instead of racially profiling Americans from Mexican decent. It appears they are bigots! mlm

    The government needs to put back the green card work program.

    April 29, 2010 at 10:00 am |
  18. howie

    "reasonable suspicion." has been johnny laws carte blanch for many years , its nothing new, just as is having to provide identification to the lawmen if and when they ask. there was a time and still is, when just having long hair or tattoos would get you pulled over and searched, under the "reasonable suspicion" clause. stop playing this as a racial issue because it is not, proof of identification is now and always has been something we all have had to do in America. if somebody cut in front of you while in line at the amusment park , you would hope that they would get caught and sent to the back of the line right? same thing here, get to the back of the line and learn how to be polite when your a guest at the "park"

    April 29, 2010 at 9:53 am |
  19. AnyatheGreat

    Millions of illegal immigrants from Mexico are taxing the welfare and health care system, driving down our wages and committing violent crimes like rape and murder. Cops in the southern states are told to let drunk driving illegals go because the 'judges won't do anything anyway'. Maybe Obama wants them here so they will vote for him in the next election while real Americans want him and his pirate ship gone.

    April 29, 2010 at 9:50 am |
  20. tim

    theres more cops to enforce the law than i.c.e. has agents.thats why th.ey're all screaming. no comprehensive amnesty.

    April 29, 2010 at 9:44 am |
  21. Cathy

    I support Arizona's recent immigration laws. After watching the interview of illegals today, I am even more unhappy about illegals in the my country. Somebody explain to me how an illegal cannot take get a library card, but can get a driver's license, entrance into colleges that many legal American kids cannot, medicare and medcaid at our expense? How can illegals even purchase property, work and rent? Somebody explain to me how an illegal can do all of these things and it be against the law to ask are your legal? How is it that I must have a passport to present when coming back into America and can be denied entry if I "forget" my passport and yet millions are allowed here illegally? It is infuriating to hear the illegal female wants to work with children and do this with a history of breaking laws. Perhaps countries like Mexico will step up to the plate and create agencies to help flow back to their homeland so transition won't be so devastating at that homeland country expense. Do not put slavery in the same boat in any way shape or form. Slaves were brought here against their will. A big difference than hopping a fence. I do not owe illegals anything. Illegals(some with a family history of breaking immigration laws) made a decision to continue a life of crime.

    April 29, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  22. jmz

    yes,.,.its fine. the law mirrors federal law. Obama want to slow down? this man has rammed through everything we dont want at lightning speed and against our wishes. Slow down? the fed govt that the liberal love so much have had 20+ yrs to fix this problem. they did NOTHING. Illegals are illegal.aka against the law.therefore subject to arrest. even still we dont just walk up to people and grab them..they do in mex btw. Latinos only have themselved to blame for this situation. they are the biggest commiters of illegal imm as well as its loudest and biggest proponents of it. Its not racism to enforce the law. I fully support AZ 1000000%. wake up people. obama dosent care about illegals..he is just trying to find away to shore up his failing numbers. Democrats slave owners since the beginning and they still are!

    April 29, 2010 at 8:56 am |