Commentary: Arizona's law, U.S. immigration policy are flawed

Arizona's tough new immigration law is unworkable, likely unconstitutional and clearly inhumane.

But 70 percent of the state's likely voters wanted it signed. Washington cannot ignore that message.

The law requires immigrants to carry papers documenting their right to be on American soil, and it demands that police officers stop people who they suspect are in the state illegally and detain them "when practical."

Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the bill into law, said she would not tolerate racial profiling. But the new law is clearly aimed at Latinos, even those living legally in the state.

Drafted with the assistance of Kris Kobach, a University of Missouri-Kansas City law professor who is running for Kansas secretary of state, the law questionably empowers local police to enforce federal immigration law. It runs afoul of constitutional protections by allowing police to stop citizens without a warrant or evidence that something illegal has occurred.

Like most legislation Kobach is involved with, the Arizona law invites a challenge. One of the first consequences will be burdensome legal bills.

To read the complete editorial, visit www.kansascity.com.