Thursday, April 29, 2010

Arizona Anti-Illegal Immigration Legislation

Before you get your knickers in a twist over this piece of legislation enacted in Arizona - READ THE BILL.

Don't just rely on others to tell you what to think about it.

Arizona's got a very real problem with illegal immigration which has been brewing for a long time now - and the Federal government has done nothing to help them in protecting the border and fighting the resulting drug trade and crime. The Feds have done nothing to enforce Federal law. Arizona's new law allows for the enforcement of Federal law.

70% of the people in Arizona are just fed up with the crime and cost of illegal immigration.

Here is what one Senator has to say about this law:

While we don't want Nazi style "Show me your papers" legislation being enacted, this legislation actually only allows police officers to ask for proof of citizenship if a crime has been committed or for probable cause. It is NO different then existing Federal law! The issue is that the Feds have NOT been enforcing that immigration law, especially in border states. Arizonans feel that enough is enough and something has to be done, especially after the recent murder of an Arizona rancher. Arizona Legislators decided to take matters into their own hands.

Right or wrong legislation ... the riots will begin and this is going to get very very ugly very fast, especially if La Raza and Reconquista is involved (which they are). There have already been threats made and there will be mass demonstrations by pro-illegal immigration factions out West, and across the country. It's not like they haven't been waiting for this opportunity.

Opponents of this law will make this out to be racist and blah blah blah... the truth is this is about enforcing the law and protecting Arizona's citizens, many of which are also of Latin American decent and who are also very fed up with the crime and drugs and costs that they are burdened with as a result of illegal immigration.

Personally, I would rather see other means of combating illegal immigration, and that would be to get rid of the incentives that attract them to come here illegally in the first place, like all the free services they receive courtesy of the American taxpayer. State lawmakers need to end all forms of public assistance to illegal aliens, and they need to punish employers that hire illegal aliens illegally, and perhaps they need to honestly do something about addressing the lucrative illegal drug trade. Maybe it is time to legalize certain drugs, and tax them and make it less profitable for criminals to be involved in drug smuggling.

If people want to be here in this country - fine - but they have to be here legally like millions of other have done and continue to do.

Arizonans have had enough.
Unfortunately, this is going to start a significant revolution in this country, and it is one that our Federal government has allowed to foment due to their decades of inaction and indifference.

Read News With Views.


John said...


Reasonable suspicion is a far lower legal threshold than probable cause. Perhaps you should take your own advice and read the bill. I would think such a staunch defender of liberty would understand that there is significant precedent surrounding this issue. Suspicion is not sufficient to demand papers or make arrests.

And this is just a legal point. Besides the facially unconstitutional use of reasonable suspicion, I have yet to have it explained to me how an officer can reasonably suspect that an individual is in violation of immigration law (brown=illegal is not reasonable under any circumstances).

Illegal immigration does need to be addressed, but not at the expense of the Bill of Rights.

Judy Aron said...

"I have yet to have it explained to me how an officer can reasonably suspect that an individual is in violation of immigration law"
This is not about suspecting if the person is in violation of immigration law - it is about being able to finally ask for proof of citizenship if a person has committed a crime or there is probable cause that a crime has been committed.
The laws being enacted in Arizona are no different then Federal law - the only difference is that Arizona officials are going to enforce them.
Look, there is plenty of hysteria being created about this bill... on purpose. Parents taking their kids out for ice cream are not going to be stopped and asked to produce papers.
People will still have the same 4th amendment rights they currently have regarding lawful search. If anyone is stopped on a whim of a police officer they can take it to court as a violation of their rights.

John - you never mentioned what your solution would be to the illegal problem Arizona faces. Do we continue to let criminals kill ranchers? rape women? break into homes at 3:00 AM?

There are plenty of "brown people" (your term, not mine) who are legally living in Arizona who agree with this law because they are sick and tired of what is going on in their state. Are they racists too?

And by the way - at least people in Arizona aren't being technologically strip searched and asked to provide all kinds of papers and passports like they are at airports nowadays. Where is the outrage over the way passengers are being treated before boarding airplanes? I don't see you complaining about that John.

John said...

Let me start by making a brief reprise of my original point in rebuttal to the first part of your criticism.

You say: "This is not about suspecting if the person is in violation of immigration law - it is about being able to finally ask for proof of citizenship if a person has committed a crime or there is probable cause that a crime has been committed."

The law clearly states that an officer shall (under threat of civil litigation) attempt to ascertain an individual's immigration status when a "reasonable suspicion" exists. NOT probable cause. Let us revisit the source of our contention:


These are different standards under the law and should not be conflated or otherwise misused. In terms of evidentiary standards; beyond a reasonable doubt > clear and convincing evidence > a preponderance of the evidence > probable cause > reasonable suspicion.

Nowhere in the law does it state that officers must have probable cause to investigate one's immigration status. Furthermore, we don't find any reference to such a conditional circumstance as you have described (if person is suspected of committing other crime(s), only then their status will be investigated). To the contrary, "any lawful conduct" made by a cop shall be sufficient for making a determination of reasonable suspicion. This means victims, witnesses and perpetrators alike could be subject to this suspicion. Do we really want otherwise innocent illegal aliens afraid of even cooperating with the authorities? I can only imagine that this will make law enforcement a much trickier proposition (as has been suggested by the police chiefs of a number of AZ municipalities).

As for solutions, violent crime is clearly your overarching concern, reasonably enough, for which I would suggest tackling the problem at its root - the drug trade. A difficult proposition to be sure (I think we can all agree that our "war on drugs" has been a colossal failure from any perspective), but I would actually take your approach; if the trade were controlled and regulated by the government, we could destroy the profit motive for the cartels. Death by socialism, as it were.

To conclude, I have to take exception at your reframing of my argument. Leaving aside xenophobia for the moment, my point is concerned only with the legality of this legislation, and the constitutional ramifications. Fear is a powerful motivator, and violent crime can be blamed on any number of societal forces. I certainly can't blame any resident of AZ for being afraid; no matter the color of their skin. Should we sacrifice liberty for security? Our constitution exists to ensure that legislating for the latter will never interfere with the former.

Finally, it is fallacious for you to argue that because I have failed to rail against airport security measures, I have somehow lost all credence when it comes to a simple critique of a single piece of unconstitutional legislation. This is a false equivalence, and I think you know that.

Judy Aron said...

Good try John.

Here are the facts though:
The Arizona law authorizes its law enforcement personnel to ENFORCE FEDERAL LAW. Period. This Arizona law actually mirrors ALREADY ESTABLISHED federal law. The Feds already do what Arizona is doing - at our border stops and in airports - that is why I brought that up. We can debate all day long who can/should be stopped and what police can/should ask and what circumstances dictate how/why people should be stopped - but the fact is that the ongoing crime in Arizona has got to be addressed and halted.

Really too, citizens have the right to say they do not consent to being searched - invoking 4th amendment rights - and they also have the right to remain silent - invoking 5th amendment rights. If their rights have been violated they can file a complaint and perhaps even take it to court.

Rest assured the wording has been crafted very carefully in Arizona's law to withstand any legal challenges.

No one in Arizona is talking about racial profiling or violating citizens' constitutional rights, except those who wish to promote open borders and fuel racism. The police are just trying to do their job, and I contend once more that people just out going for an ice cream or shopping will not be bothered if they aren't breaking the law. From what I am hearing, there are many more law enforcement people who agree with this legislation, then those who do not.

The truth is that the Federal government has hamstrung State and local police agencies, in all states, in their attempts to arrest illegal aliens for decades. I believe this has been done by Washington on purpose for a variety of reasons.

Now with this law, Arizona policemen can arrest illegal aliens for being in the State of Arizona illegally (what a concept!), and have them deported: something they should have been doing (and have every right to do) all along.

It really matters little the color of people's skin - and if you believe that people are being hauled over because they are "brown skinned" then you are buying into the rhetoric from people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton who make their money from fueling racism in this country. That is a shame.

The fact is, that anyone of any color and ethnicity can be (and are) here illegally. Something needs to be done about it, and I contend that it can be done while preserving our rights.

I think that Arizona law enforcement is going to be very careful how they proceed with this - and I don't think they are going to be stopping people frivolously.

Judy Aron said...

By the way John, this law is already working - illegals are getting the hell out of Arizona.

That's the point.
Make illegal really mean illegal.

John said...

You contend that this can all be done while preserving our rights, but you haven't addressed any of my specific concerns; you seem content to repeat your own rhetoric.

Read the bill, and show me how it mirrors federal law. Appellate law has long established the different limits on law enforcement, and there has never existed such a low burden of proof; a border is different from a city street, and I hope it stays that way. The authorities should not have the same rights of search and investigation on a city sidewalk as they do at a border crossing -- I'm shocked that you are so willing to erode our rights for a law enforcement concern.

And facts? I was trying to base my argument off the actual text of the the law and relevant appellate precedent to which you have had no response. I don't care how you think the law will be enforced, I care about what the law explicitly allows (and requires). You can contend all you want, but you have no way to know how this is going to be enforced beyond what the law already calls for (unless you are now claiming powers of prophecy).

Borders and airports are different than city streets. Maybe you should brush up on your legal studies.

God forbid we have to count on "careful" and reasonable police officers to protect our rights. I'll just hold on to my bill of rights, thank you very much.

Eric Holcombe said...

A post you both may have interest in:

TN State Rep. Stacy Campfield has a link in that post to a review of this state-level enforcement for Davidson County (Nashville) that had to be sent to DHS. Metro Nashville schools now have 13% hispanic population. I believe it is only when the entitlement society becomes a serious drain that these locales begin to want to do something. The same accusatory language from the feds was used against it too. The Dem governor puppets their responses "It's the feds job".

The feds aren't doing their job. They sound like lazy union employees - won't work but won't let you do it yourself because "it isn't your job".

Judy Aron said...

John you are buying into the hysteria and race warfare being fomented and served up by those who would have us give instant amnesty to lawbreakers, and who want you to fork over your hard earned money to pay for free social services for all of the illegals everywhere in this country. And they are fomenting this while hiding behind the concept of "Civil Liberty". Well what of our Citizens' Civil Liberty of being able to live in peace without fear of being raped, or murdered, or mugged by law breaking illegals? Do you even have a clue as to the severity of the problem in these border states?

Where is YOUR respect for the Rule of Law? We already have established immigration laws that are wholly being ignored. That's O.K. with you? If we have no Rule of Law, then the Bill of Rights mean absolutely NOTHING.

I'm shocked that you are so willing to allow our laws to be broken with no penalty, and pray tell how would YOU make sure that illegals aren't allowed to continue to roam openly with total disregard for immigration laws - or any other laws for that matter - without this kind of State enforcement of Federal law? And what makes you think law enforcement officials aren't also held to the law? I think AZ law enforcement is going to be mighty careful about how this is implemented.

Again - I say READ the bill - you are making it sound like people will be asked to produce documents on a whim of law enforcement.The police have to have a reason to stop someone. It even outright says: This act shall be implemented in a manner consistent with federal laws regulating immigration, protecting the civil rights of all persons and respecting the privileges and immunities of United States citizens.

If someone feels their rights have been violated, then they can take it up with the law and bring it before a judge and jury. That is the way it is all over the country. You can be stopped in any town in this country by law enforcement. So that's really no different - so what's your point? If you are stopped unlawfully, then you can seek legal recourse. And excuse me but, you are asked to produce papers and identification everywhere you go these days - or haven't you noticed? Cashed a check lately? Asked for your social security number lately? How is that really any different then asking for proof of citizenship?

Nothing is going to change in Arizona except that now if an illegal is caught doing something wrong then law enforcement can check their immigration status and act effectively. Before, they could do very little. Many times they have to let the criminal go and they get to repeat more criminal activity, when they should have been deported.

And how does this mirror Federal law? It mirrors it in several places. Read the bill; it references several Federal laws regarding illegal immigration and enforcement. I am not going to cite them all for you.

Personally I don't care how YOU think this law will be enforced either - and you seem to have very low regard for AZ law enforcement. I don't. I also think too many of them have been murdered by illegal aliens, along with many other innocent citizens.

Right now illegal aliens are fleeing AZ - and that is exactly what this law intended to have happen. It's what happens when the law actually means something and there are consequences to criminal acts.

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Judy, I am afraid I have to agree with John on the wording of the law and where it is practiced.

The standards that apply to Federal Government (INM), apply at the border, where even US citizens should expect to show papers to be allowed across. However, Arizona police are now required to apply those standards (reasonable suspicion in any lawful contact) on the streets. This law will cause the rights of American citizens to continue to be violated in the so-called "Constitution Free Zones" that stretch up to 50 miles beyond the border; and the law will expand those "Constitution_Free Zones" into the whole State of Arizona.

I live in New Mexico--another border state--and I understand very well teh concerns that people have about the de facto open border. And I understand why the governor signed the law. But she and the Arizona legislature are likely well aware that the law will be declared unconstitutional, because controlling the National Border is one of the duties given to the federal government.
I suspect that passing and signing the law has done what it set out to do--call attention to the federal neglect of the southern border.

At the same time, I do not want an equivalent to Senate Bill 1070 passed in New Mexico. I want my local cops and sheriffs doing their job, and the feds to take the burden off of local cops by doing theirs.

And I want to move about my own state without being asked for "Papers, please!" And believe me--I get hassled at checkpoints and airports all of the time because of my NAME. Names, accents, genetic heritage--none of these are "reasonable suspicion".
So what would be? The law does not define it, and I sure as heck would not want to be responsible to try and figure out what would be in NEW MEXICO.

I understand and share the concerns of Arizonans about illegal border crossings. AND I know a bad law when I see it.

Judy Aron said...

That's ok - we can disagree on this one..

I don't want this to be a "Papers Please" society either, but you do realize that since 1952 federal law has said: "Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him." So ostensibly we have had a Papers Please law in place for aliens. They can be stopped and asked to produce proof that they are here legally.

With regard to the Arizona law being unconstitutional...
lawmakers carefully drafted the law to avoid any legal challenge on pre-emption in two ways - One, it perfectly mirrors federal law and does not in any way conflict with it. Two, this law requires local law enforcement officers not to make their own judgment about a person's immigration status but to rely on the federal government.Any officer who reasonably suspects (and the issue of "reasonability" has been argued in the courts for a very long time.. i.e. what is reasonable suspicion or probable cause?) a person is illegal is required to check with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement. As long as the state or city is relying on the Federal government to determine immigration status, that will protect Arizona against a pre-emption challenge.

There's a federal statute -- 8 USC 1373, passed during the Clinton years -- requiring the Feds to verify a person's immigration status any time a state or local official asks for it. The Federal government cannot deny assistance to Arizona without breaking the law itself.(- George Will)

Now - you make the case about local police etc. doing the work of the federal government.... on that point I agree with you - however that is the whole point of the law - the Government has NOT been doing their job and so now the State has been forced to do it... otherwise the crime will continue, not to mention the costs associated with it.

Are there better ways to achieve this? Possibly - but for now - illegals are leaving Arizona - and that is exactly what the desired outcome is - plus it IS definitely putting the federal government/Congress in a position in which they must do something about this problem.

You say this is a bad law - so what would you do to solve the problem?

Miss Roxie said...

"-so what would you do to solve the problem?"

To solve the problem, wouldn't it be good to define some of the reasons we have the problem? Like, why do illegals come here?

Are not corporations willing to hire illegals? Are not law abiding Americans willing to hire illegals to work as gardeners or babysitters or maids or cooks?

People who live in Arizona, who your post says are aware they have a very big problem with illegals, are willing to let them have jobs. There are ways to find out if a person applying for a job is legal or not. I don't think it's discrimination to ask for that information is it, if you apply for a job? If it is not, it could stop there.

But most likely, there will always be someone who is willing to hire them. That person needs to be arrested. There will be people will to transport them. That person needs to be arrested.

If an illegal is coming over here to work, they should be able to be found easily, if they have to show proof of citizenship to get a job, or show that they are legal.

Why don't the corporations and people who wish to hire them, because I've read they work for much cheaper, (which is why we send our jobs overseas) just speak up for them, and say "let them stay and work for us. We want them." That would probably end all this craziness.

Then, if they are here to work, give them a work visa. Let them work. They are not taking America jobs. If they were, Americans would be in line for those jobs, and they are not.

The America jobs are all over seas now, pretty much.

As far as drug dealers are concerned, turn up the DEA to full force, and go get 'em. Illegal or legal persons should not be allowed to commit crimes.