IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – Olga Zanella, 21, says she’s concerned about Latinos who are living in Arizona after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a part of that state’s controversial immigration law.
“I think that’s wrong,” she says.
Arizona’s law requires police officers there to check the immigration status of those they stop for reasonable suspicion then report them to immigration authorities.
“I see that as racial profiling and at that point the police can stop anybody who looks like them,” Zanella says.
She says she knows the feeling. Last year, she filed a complaint of racial profiling against the Irving police department.
“They handcuffed me and took my ID,” she said.
Three years ago, police made a traffic stop, and arrested her after discovering she didn’t have a drivers license. While in the city jail, police discovered she was here in the U.S. illegally, and transferred her to immigration and customs enforcement or ICE.
“I was afraid”, Zanella says.
Under federal law, local jails can report detained illegal immigrants to ICE. The law also allows ICE detain illegal immigrants who turn out to be known criminals.
Here in Texas, thousands have already been deported. Richard Roper is the former U.S. Attorney in Dallas.
“The federal statute mentioned in the Supreme Court ruling encourages state and local law enforcement to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” he said.
As for Olga Zanella, who was brought here when she was five, she is now under federal supervision.
She hasn’t been deported.
“I just pray everything is going to be fine and that they still won’t deport me,” she said.