PHOENIX — Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday signed a follow-on bill approved by Arizona legislators that makes revisions to the state's sweeping law against illegal immigration — changes she says should quell concerns that the measure will lead to racial profiling.
The law requires local and state law enforcement to question people about their immigration status if there's reason to suspect they're in the country illegally, and makes it a state crime to be in the United States illegally.
The follow-on bill signed by Brewer makes changes that she said should allay concerns of opponents. "These new statements make it crystal clear and undeniable that racial profiling is illegal, and will not be tolerated in Arizona," she said in a statement.
Lawyers whose clients have filed lawsuits challenging the law did not immediately return calls for comment.
The changes include one strengthening restrictions against using race or ethnicity as the basis for questioning by police and inserts those same restrictions in other parts of the law.
Another change states that immigration-status questions would follow a law enforcement officer's stopping, detaining or arresting a person while enforcing another law. The earlier law had referred to a "contact" with police.
Another change specifies that possible violations of local civil ordinances can trigger questioning on immigration status.
Both the law and the changes to it will take effect July 29 unless blocked by a court or referendum filing.
Lawmakers approved the follow-on bill before ending their 2010 session late Thursday.
"There will be no profiling," said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, in an interview.
Democrats were critical of the immigration law and its revision.
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, said the new wording regarding local civil ordinances could spur complaints of racial profiling based on complaints about cars parked on lawns and debris in yards.