Still, events like Friday's shooting have persuaded some of Arizona's millions of residents that the new law may improve their lives without alienating peoples' civil rights.
"I don't have a problem with the new law," says Abraham Candelaria, who lives in Chandler, Arizona. "We've been struggling for years to secure our borders and, meanwhile, these guys are becoming more aggressive—that officer was shot by an AK-47—you don't want that kind crime at your doorstep."
But not all Arizonans are so enthusiastic about the new measure.
Thousands gathered on Saturday to protest the new law and rally for immigration reform. In Phoenix, some 8,000 people rallied downtown, carrying signs denouncing Ms. Brewer and asking questions such as, "What does an illegal alien look like?" Other protestors donned t-shirts reading "Legalize Arizona."
Alex Rodriguez, a 20-year-old community-college student living in Mesa, Ariz., traveled todowntown Phoenix on Saturday night with his father, mother and 10-year-old brother to protest the law.
He says the law will force him and his family to move out of the state. Hailing originally from Mexico, Mr. Rodriguez and his family have lived in Arizona illegally for the past 10 years.
"We came tonight because we have to stop this law from happening," he says. "It will prevent us from being able to walk down the street. It makes me afraid just to, say, wave my hand out of fear that somebody will stop me."
Mr. Rodriguez says he has talked with his parents, a house cleaner and handyman, about moving to California or New Mexico if the law takes effect.
The lack of respect for American immigration laws and a sense of entitlement is not going to win many friends