SB 1070: What To Do If Police Pull You Over

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Although many of the most offensive sections of the proposed new SB 1070 legislation were blocked from going into effect last Thursday, July 29th, some local Arizona authorities are taking the law into their own hands. We spoke to MALDEF lawyer Nina Perales—who was instrumental in winning the injunction against the laws—and asked her how to handle the situation if you do get pulled over by the police in Arizona.

"You definitely should identify yourself for the officer.  If you are asked for your driver’s license, your proof of insurance—produce what is being asked." One of the changes to state law that was successfully blocked last week was the requirement that every immigrant carry papers that show their legal status, which technically means that the officer can only legally ask you to produce a driver's license and proof of insurance.

After the incident, Perales advises anyone who has been pulled over, "Carefully write down everything that happens to you. Write down the name of the officer and the badge number if you have it." It's very important to try to recall and write down a detailed account of the incident because you don't want to forget anything in the aftermath. "Write down everything that happens," Perales stressed, "Especially if you think it was unfair. Then call MALDEF. Or write us an email and let us know. Because we’re watching very carefully what’s going to happen in Arizona now that this injunction has been put into place."

Unfortunately, there are some people in Arizona who have already fallen victim to overzealous policemen. Watch the video below, in which a woman pulled over for a running a stop sign finds herself taken away by Border Patrol:

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About this author

Mariela Rosario,

I'm a raging opinionista and I love to share my ramblings on everything from pop culture to food to stuff that makes me laugh & cry! I've worked in all types of media (TV, film, print) and was previously the online editor at Latina magazine before joining Mamás Latinas. On most nights you can find me working my way through my library of cookbooks or playing with my puppy Lola (my only child so far). I have a wonderful hubby who shares my passion for any and all kinds of travel. Together, we've formed a semi-professional wine drinking team.

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