Sarah Gassen commentary on Arizona Senate Bill 1070

The Arizona Republican leadership is confusing activity with achievement. The mistake known as Arizona Senate Bill 1070 won't keep us safe. And it certainly won"t "secure the border."

Supporters pretend that forcing local police to check a person's immigration status based on - quote - "reasonable suspicion" will protect our state.

It won't. And it won't keep drug and human traffickers out of Arizona. Instead, S.B. 1070 endangers all Arizonans. The law turns every contact with police into an unnecessary high-stakes situation.

When people are afraid to talk to their neighborhood police, public safety - for everyone -- suffers.

Think about it: Arizona Senate Bill 1070 is now a battle cry for people like the guy who showed up at a Phoenix rally over the weekend to support this racist legislation. He referred to Hitler as - quote - "a great white civil rights leader." But the sideshow S.B. 1070 spawns is only a distraction.

There are fundamental flaws in our immigration policy. And this new law does absolutely nothing to solve those flaws.

Instead, this law offers only the illusion that Arizona is doing something. It distracts from what's truly needed: a federal immigration system that allows immigrants to come to Arizona to work, and create a fair way for people already in the U.S. to gain legal status. Only then can we even think about "securing the border."

S.B. 1070 is a mistake for Arizona. And we will suffer from the consequences of this wrong-headed legislation for years to come.

Sarah Garrecht Gassen, Arizona Daily Star