May 6, 2010

On the Arizona Immigration Law sb1070

Perhaps you may have heard of this law. A new "radical", "hardline" law passed in Arizona with malicious intent towards innocents. In the news, on Capitol Hill, and even in foreign countries, perhaps you have seen or heard top officials or journalists decry the law as "racist", "unconstitutional", "fascist", and "reminiscent of Nazi Germany". Some have compared the law to the internment and deportation of Japanese Americans during World War II, or the second-class citizen status of Jews during the Third Reich, or apartheid in South Africa.

Our own president has denounced the law as "misguided" & poorly conceived. He says that the law "threaten[s] to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans".

The Department of Justice's Attorney General Eric Holder stated that the DoJ may go to court to challenge the new law. However, he admitted that he hadn’t actually read the bill very closely before criticizing it. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano also admits she hasn't read the Arizona immigration law, but passed judgment on it anyway.

"That's not the kind of law I would have signed," she says. "I believe it's a bad law enforcement law."

Our State Department has gotten in on the action, defending a diplomat who breached the subject with China. Yes, you read that correctly: China (and during a discussion on human rights, of all topics). He persistently described the law as a gateway to "racial profiling".

All this apologizing and equivocating is going to China, a country famed for human rights abuses including: the government's forced sterilization of women; mass executions; restriction of freedoms of the press, speech, and assembly; & arbitrary arrests, detention, and harassment of Chinese citizens.

The Mexican president Felipe Calderon, Cardinal of the archdiocese of L.A. Roger Mahoney, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, singer Ricky Martin, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, and (apparently) the entire city of San Francisco have leveled similar arguments.

How can so many people possibly be wrong?

I have come to tell you the truth: All this hoopla is a bunch of BS.

Am I the only one who gets the feeling that most of the critics never closely read the entire law? Because it clearly doesn't have any of the problems they assert it does. Never do they rely on facts and never do they cite specific, viable sections.
They just say words and hope they come out in a way that makes sense.

Let me break it down:

Argument #1) the Arizona law "encourages racial profiling". Wrong.
In the text of the law, it clearly states that
A law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town, or other political subdivision of this state MAY NOT SOLELY CONSIDER RACE, COLOR OR NATIONAL ORIGIN [emphasis added] in implementing the requirements of this subsection”.

It's written in the law, what more can you want?

Governor Brewer even issued an executive order requiring training to "provide clear guidance to law enforcement officials regarding what constitutes reasonable suspicion, and shall make clear that an individual's race, color or national origin alone cannot be ground for reasonable suspicion to believe any law has been violated."

Argument #2) the law "is unconstitutional" because it "allows the state to enforce federal powers". Also wrong.
Since there is no explicit denial of the power from states or specific grant to the feds over border security, Arizona is exercising its sovereign right under the Constitution’s 10th Amendment:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Also, not only does the law follow Constitutionality, it also follows legal precedent. A Bush-era memo acknowledges the authority of states to do exactly what Arizona is allowing: state enforcement of government immigration laws. The memo, written in 2002 by the DoJ, reasoned that state law enforcement officers officers have “inherent power” to arrest illegal aliens for violating federal law.

Argument #3) the law is "fascist"... for some reason...
Way, waaay off the mark. This is complete BS. I don't know how they keep a straight face.

First: the fact is that requirements for legal immigrants to carry ID as such has been federal law for over 60 years; legal aliens must carry documentation at all times - and furthermore that’s also the law of the land in Europe, in Canada, and yes, even in Mexico.

Second: few of the critics ever seem to notice the phrase "lawful contact," which defines what must be happening before law enforcement thinks about checking immigration status. A law enforcement officer must have stopped you for some other violation of the law (like speeding or running a red light) or arrested you for some crime (breaking into a house or shooting someone).
No random "harassment" is allowed.

Third: a law enforcement officer is required to possess "reasonable [articulable] suspicion" (which is also clearly defined in previous laws) before he is allowed to ask for identification.

"But Patrick! What possible non-race related reasons could they have?!" You may be asking.
Well, I can think of three:

1. inability to speak English (just saying)
2. absence of any documentation (as legal aliens 18 and older are required to carry anyway)
3. the person is driving an unmarked van across state lines filled with guns, drugs, or
human cargo and won't stop when the police order him/her to stop

(*BTW, a driver's license is ALL that is needed to exonerate one's self from suspicion. You cannot be arrested or detained on suspicion of not-having-a-drivers license, but a driver's license is an immediate dismissal from suspicion. The "carrying your papers around with you" line is BS, pure and simple, unless somehow you feel carrying around your driver's license is too onerous a burden. In which case... grow up. You need your ID when you check into hotels, buy drugs or medicine, go through airport security, or even take a piss nowadays.)

Why the fuss then? This is simply political posturing by the Democrats, getting their Latino base riled up because they're worried about the 2010 election season.

Should they be worried? Yes. Are they helping themselves by dumping on the Arizona law? Not at all. Why? Oh, it's only that the majority of Americans and Arizonans back the law.
Here are some facts:

• Gallup (April 2010) – 51% say they favor it and 39% oppose it
• Bellweather Research poll (April-May 2010) – 62% of voters approve of the Arizona law, with 44% strongly approving
• CBS News/New York Times poll (May 2010) – 60% approve of the law, with 9% saying that it doesn’t go far enough
• Pew Research Center poll (May 2010) – 59% approve of the law overall while 32% disapprove of the law overall.
• FOX News poll (May 2010) – 65 % of American voters think states have right to make their own immigration laws, while 32% disagree; 52% majority favor their own state passing a bill similar to Arizona’s immigration law
• CNN poll (May 2010) – 52% of Arizonans back the law, with 39% opposed

It seems that the majority of Americans can see what politicians and talking heads around the country cannot see: the Arizona Immigration law is a law of desperation, but a necessary one coming from the state with the most kidnapping cases in America, 1.3 million pounds of marijuana confiscated in a single year in Tucson alone, and the longest unsecured border with Mexico.

There are nearly half a million illegal immigrants in Arizona.While illegal immigrants make up 9% of the Arizona population, they are responsible for 22% of the felonies in Arizona and they constitute 11% of the state prison population.

Phoenix has the second-largest kidnapping problem in the world, second only to Mexico City. Kidnapping in Arizona increased 400% between 2004 and 2008, with 70% of the kidnappings involving illegal immigrants. Someone is kidnapped every 35 hours in Phoenix, Ariz. — mostly by illegal alien-smuggling organizations.

Illegal immigrants account for 16.5% of those sentenced for violent crimes; 18.5% of those sentenced for property crimes; 33.5% of those sentenced for the manufacture, sale, or transport of drugs; and 44% of those sentenced or forgery and fraud in the Phoenix area.

According to DoJ statistics, three Border Patrol agents are assaulted every day on average at the U.S. border. The Border Patrol apprehended 241,453 illegals in the Tucson sector alone. Nearly a fifth of all those apprehended already had a U.S. criminal record. In some states, over 90% of the marijuana consumed is from Mexico, much of which is passed through Arizona's long unsecured border.

The law is ten pages long. Read it. You might learn something.

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