Pima County's top lawyer preparing her prosecutors for S.B. 1070 - Tucson News Now

Pima County's top lawyer preparing her prosecutors for S.B. 1070

By Barbara Grijalva email

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) - Unless a judge says otherwise,  Arizona's new immigration enforcement law takes effect Thursday.

While police and sheriff's deputies train to make the arrests, local prosecutors prepare to take the cases to court.

The passage of S.B. 1070 has county prosecutors, including Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall establishing guidelines for the new crimes the law creates in Arizona.

LaWall tells KOLD News 13, "This law is probably the most muddled, confused, complex, poorly written law that we've had to deal with in a very long time."

The Pima County Attorney is preparing her prosecutors.

Because it's a misdemeanor, every jurisdiction, from Tucson to Oro Valley will have to do its own prosecutions.

Lawall's office will issue guidelines to Pima County Sheriff's deputies.

She says, "And telling them, in addition to any probable cause that you might have, these are the other pieces of evidence that we need to prove the case in court.

But LaWall says that evidence regarding a person's immigration status will be hard to come by without federal cooperation.

"The federal priority is not the enforcement of state law. Never has been."

"This one requires enormous federal cooperation. There's no other law on the books. None, that requires this; that requires we get this kind of evidence from the feds."

One of LaWall's attorneys was in Phoenix talking with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

"..who's basically sitting down with prosecutors saying this is what we are capable of doing. This is what we can't do. We probably are not going to end up with sufficient evidence to prosecute these cases without incredible federal involvement."

LaWall says her prosecutors will need testimony or certified documents, or other evidence from the feds.

She says, "If they say no, then we're going to be up a creek without a paddle."

LaWall says she'll have all the guidelines ready on July 29th, this Thursday. The day S.B 1070 is set to be enacted.

A federal judge still could issue an injunction against key parts of the law.

©2010 KOLD. All rights reserved.

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