Monday, May 2, 2011

The Chandler Roundup

[photos and address pending]
“The only major ethnic profiling incident actually related to immigration” described by the US Senate, the Chandler Roundup was a law enforcement operation in which hundreds of suspected illegal immigrants were detained.  Known as Operation Restoration, this was a joint operation between federal authorities and the local police department. For five days in the summer of 1997 (July 27-31), officers patrolled Chandler asking individuals of Hispanic descent for proof of citizenship, and arresting those who could not provide that documentation.  A total of 432 Illegal immigrants were arrested and deported due to the efforts of Operation Restoration.  However, an issue arose when 91 formal complaints were filed by 71 individuals that were stopped by law enforcement officials.  These complaints consisted of civil right violations by law enforcement officials during this 5 day raid.  This operation took the City of Chandler through a handful of lawsuits which cost the city roughly $500,000 in settlements and a formal apology due to the violation of citizens’ rights. In addition Police chief Bobby Harris was reprimanded for the manner in which he conducted the raid, and it lead to a recall bid against the mayor and two fellow council members. Now with the Arizona SB 1070 bill, many people believe that this legislative act will enable law enforcement to re-enact the actions of the Chandler Roundup of 1997.  With the enforcement of federal law, it is required for illegal aliens to register with the United States Government, and to have registration documents in their possession at all times.  What the SB1070 Act also enforces is that it is a misdemeanor for an alien to be in Arizona without proper legal documents to show citizenship, but it also enables law enforcement to stop anyone without reasonable suspicion.  The concerns return to surface when critics say it encourages racial profiling, the exact same actions we have seen from the Chandler Roundup.  The dilemma is the fact that this new law (SB1070) will re-enact the same outcome on a bigger scale.  Current repercussions of the passing of this bill have led to protest in over 70 United States Cities including boycotts of Arizona businesses and of the state itself.   
- Chris Rutherford, Orlando Menjivar, and Andrew Candelario

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