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Traffic Stop Tests Arizona's SB 1070 Immigration law

Updated on May 5, 2012
The Sanchez Family
The Sanchez Family

Although Arizona's SB 1070 anti-immigration bill was passed in 2010, then challenged in the US Supreme Court, that ruled it was legal to ask for proof of legal residence, it has never been tested-until now.

This is how the most typical situation will evolve for many. Take the case of Araceli Sanchez of Bullhead City, Arizona. She is illegal. Her family brought her across at age four. She went to school there and for all practical purposes, is American. She is fluent native-like in English. She has a child. She is clean as a whistle as her background checks showed.

On her way to buy her daughter some items for her birthday, she was driving and made an illegal turn. A cop saw it and stopped her. She was unable to produce two requested items: a driver's license and social security card. She had neither. Even though she explained that she was in the process of become a US citizen, the police took her into custody. The police then handed her over to Border Patrol and transported to Blythe, California, then back to Yuma, AZ. At Yuma, she was offered a free ride back Mexico. She refused. Now, she was headed for a hearing to remove her from the US.

Oh, I forgot one thing: she is married to a US citizen, the daughter is a US citizen. her husband at the time was getting ready to be shipped off to Germany with his US Army 2nd Cavalry Regiment. None of this made a hoot of difference to his wife's dilemma. Nada. No entiendo! Loco!

The husband was called by his wife from detention and he simply could not believe it. He called local congressman, which did no good. He was packing the time all this happened. His wife spent two days in detention centers and then shipped to another on the third day. Her husband tried to contact her while in the center, it was not allowed.

By the end of the third day, Araceli was released and she returned home. ICE and Homeland security found nothing bad in her background and because of her situation, released her. But, the US Supreme Court indicated in its decision is would not take more than 10 minutes to determine the legality of person stopped, huh, it took two Federal agencies three days!

Araceli's husband is now in Germany and she is totally paranoid of police in AZ.


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      Old Poolman 5 years ago

      To a large degree, I completely agree with you. At the age of 4, I'm certain she didn't get a vote on whether to enter this country illegally or not. I found a news report on an MSNBC website stating that it is unclear if she showed them her Military ID or not. Perhaps if she had, none of this would have happened.

      She is however an example of a extra burden to the tax payers that many refuse to acknowledge. She was educated from first grade through high school while being here illegally, and taxpayers paid for this education. In her case, with no choice about coming here at age 4, it was bound to happen. I would be reasonably sure that if her parents have been here illegally for that long, they were most likely paying their taxes also. It seems the biggest problem they encountered was trying to find out if she was a good guy or a bad guy. With the extensive data bases available to law enforcement today, that should have taken all of about 5 minutes. It appears a few law enforcement officials got carried away, but this has nothing to do with HB-1070 because that bill is in "timeout" for at least a while longer.

      I have to agree with you that it is a completely different situation for those who were brought here as children, and those adults who just crossed over last week or last night.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      That is all I know. It is the same in CA. But, after there was no DL, he probably got suspicious and asked for a SS. I do have mine in a tender state. still, it is a good test case-illegal, married to US citzen, US kids, raised here since 4 anos, speaks english fine, husband in US army-geez! I say - let her stay, she is now an illegal American!

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      Old Poolman 5 years ago

      Interesting. On a traffic stop the usual request if for a drivers license and proof of insurance, and that is all. Did he ask for the SS card after she admitted she had no drivers license? I live in Arizona and as far as I know, SB-1070 is sitting in limbo awaiting the decision of the Supreme Court. Any idea why she didn't have a drivers license? Many undocumented workers are able to easily obtain a drivers license here in this state.

      This is the first time I have ever heard of a law enforcement officer asking for a SS card. If they asked me for one I would be in trouble as my card disintegrated about 30 years ago and I never replaced it. I would love to know more details on this story.