Reasonable Suspicion and Arizona’s Immigration Law

SB 1070 and HB 2162 in Arizona carry significant weight, especially for law enforcement officers. Under these laws, state and local law enforcement must first have a reasonable suspicion to determine a person’s immigration status. Further, they must confirm whether they are doing a lawful traffic stop.

As a result of these laws, officers are not allowed to stop a person because they suspect they are an illegal immigrant. Instead, they must stop them for another legitimate reason. Then they must use reasonable suspicion to check immigration status.

Once arrested, these statutes allow law enforcement to verify immigration status, but law enforcement does have strict limitations on what they can and cannot do. They are not authorized to consider race, color, or the individual’s national origin when applying suspicion principles.

Failure to Carry Alien Registration Documentation — Can I Be Arrested?

Under the 8 USC 1304(e) federal law, you are required to personally carry your registration or receipt card. If you do not, you could face penalties. All undocumented adult persons in the United States must carry their registration with them.

If you do not have your documentation with you at the time of your traffic stop, you could be arrested by law enforcement even if you are a registered citizen, working on a visa, or have been granted asylum.

With the assistance of the right immigration attorney, such as from the team at Udall Shumway, PLC, you could possibly fight charges for not carrying your registration card.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Reasonable Suspicion, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.