Thousands of undocumented immigrants left Arizona after Gov. Jan Brewer signed Senate Bill 1070 two years ago, but with the most sweeping part of the law about to be enforced, another mass exodus is not shaping up, says the Arizona Republic. Instead, many undocumented immigrants will wait to see how the law will be enforced after the Supreme Court struck down three provisions of the law but let stand the part that requires local police to check the status of people they suspect are in the country illegally.
“I’m going to take a risk and see what happens,” said Israel Fernandez, 37, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico City who has lived in the U.S. for eight years, the past five in Phoenix. His comments, echoed by many other undocumented immigrants interviewed over the past two days, show a dramatic change from two years ago, when immigrants without papers began packing up, some within hours, after Brewer signed SB 1070. That is partly because Department of Homeland Security officials said they were directing immigration-enforcement officials in Arizona not to deport illegal immigrants identified through enforcement of SB 1070 unless they meet the agency’s priorities. Since 2011, the agency has focused on deporting illegal immigrants who are dangerous criminals, recent border crossers, and repeat immigration violators.