The Arizona Peace Officer Standard and Training Board is moving forward with organizing language and methods for a training program and guidelines police officers will be required to abide by to enforce the new immigration law.
AZPOST was ordered by Gov. Jan Brewer to implement the program by executive order moments after she signed the controversial bill into law on April 23.
Senate Bill 1070 requires police officers to arrest those they believe are in this country illegally.
Those in violation are subject to the misdemeanor offense of trespassing punishable by up to six months in jail and a $2,500 fine before deportation.
The Arizona Legislature adjourned on April 29, so Senate Bill 1070 will go into effect 90 days after that, or about the end of July.
Lyle Mann, AZPOST executive director, said the board will meet the governor’s May 21 deadline to have the training program drafted and submitted to her office.
The program will be submitted to the board for approval on May 19 before it is forwarded to the governor, Mann said.
“There’s still a lot of moving parts,” Mann said, citing that the training program must bring distinction between civil and criminal immigration laws the new law will touch upon. “There’s still multiple aspects to this. We’ll have several reviews and discussions.”
Neville Cramer, a retired Immigration and Naturalization Service special agent, who is one of at least two former INS agents drafting language for the training program along with other law enforcement officials, told the Tribune that AZPOST is “compartmentalizing” its implementation and reviewing the many resources already available that will give officers the tools they need to successfully enforce the law.
Cramer, who has 30 years of experience with the INS under the Department of Justice, is drafting language for part of the training program relating to citizenship and alien status in the U.S. so officers can better distinguish who is living here legally or illegally.
“This is not brand new,” Cramer said of law enforcement agencies becoming trained in seeking someone’s citizenship status. “Police officers and other agencies trained in immigration issues have been around for 30 years. Some of the agencies have formalized it. They’re (AZPOST) interested in doing it right.”
Other areas of training that experts will help draft and implement include documents training, reasonable suspicion and looking at all existing training materials.
More people possibly could be added to the input team as the implementation process progresses, Mann said.
If those pulled over for a traffic stop or apprehended by a police officer are foreign born, but have been naturalized as U.S. citizens, they must tell the officer when and where they were naturalized, and that would be the end of an officer’s line of questioning, Cramer said.
“Once someone says they are naturalized, the officer does not have the right to ask for documents,” Cramer said. “That’s the end of the officer’s line of questions in regards to citizenship.”
However, those who are not naturalized U.S. citizens but are living here legally, such as with a student or work visa, must produce the document.
“The burden of proof is on that person to produce their green card,” Cramer said.