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Latino Daily News

Tuesday January 11, 2011

Had SB 1070 Been Enacted, Shooting Hero Could have been Singled Out and Asked for his Papers

Had SB 1070 Been Enacted, Shooting Hero Could have been Singled Out and Asked for his Papers

Photo: Daniel Hernandez with Rep Giffords

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Certainly one of Saturday’s heroes was Rep. Gifford’s 20-year-old intern Daniel Hernandez. On the job only 5 days, Hernandez used his training, as a nurse’s assistant to give Ms, Gifford’s immediate aid that is saved her life.

“I think it’s a little strange to be calling me a hero, because the things that I did was a one-off,” Hernandez said on CBS’s “The Early Show” on Monday. “However, the real heroes are people like Congresswoman Gifford’s, who have dedicated their lives to public service and helping others.”

However, had Arizona’s SB1070 been enacted, Hernandez may have been selectively asked for his papers solely at the officers discretion.

Any legitimate reason for police contact with an individual they suspect of being in the country illegally could prompt a request for identification, and witnessing a shooting would be one such reason.

“If you are a witness for a crime, the officer would have a lawful reason to approach you, and if they had any reason to suspect you might be an alien, they could ask,” Aarti Kohli, director of immigration policy at Berkeley Law School’s Warren Institute, told HuffPost. “The big question is what is reasonable suspicion.”

This is exactly the type of racial profiling critics have argued this law promotes. Mexican-American Hernandez is a naturalized citizen, but he would have been the only victim of Saturday’s violence to be questioned about his immigration status.

Currently a federal judge has blocked the provisions of the law that pertain to ones immigration status. But the law may still go into effect if the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rules in favor of an appeal by the state of Arizona.
The court has not rendered a decision yet having heard the case in November.