Gov. Jan Brewer has signed the immigration measure.
Brewer signed the bill about 1:30 p.m. while chants broke out from about 2,000 people who have gathered in the mall between the House and Senate.
‘There is no higher priority than the safety of the people of Arizona,” she said after signing. ‘I will not tolerate racial discriminaton or racial profiling in Arizona.”
She was critical of lax federal enforcement that she said created the situation that prompted the state law.Most of them appear to be high school or college students.
Hispanic community leader Elias Bermudez said he urged calm.
There was a lot of political pressure on Brewer to sign the controversial measure which would give police new powers to stop and arrest illegal immigrants.
All three of her Republican foes in the gubernatorial primary are on record urging a signature. And virtually all Republicans in the Legislature voted for the legislation.
A lawsuit is a virtual certainty, with groups ranging from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund to the American Civil Liberties Union promising to challenge the measure.
The most controversial part of the measure could amount to a requirement to carry identification or risk being detained, at least temporarily. It says that when police officers make an official contact with anyone, a ‘reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person.”