Raising Arizona

In Sunday’s Mercury News, reporters Linda Goldston and Vinne Tong wrote, “Arizona’s SB 1070 allows police to stop and ask about a person’s immigration status when they suspect the person could be in the U.S. illegally.”  Is that true?

SB 1070 reads, “For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or agency of this state…where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person.”

Racial profiling is illegal.  A “lawful contact” must first take place before any law officer can ask about an individual’s legal status.  Arizona cops can’t approach or pull people over to check to see if they are in the country legally.  A spokesman for Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said that the Governor believes that the new law will stand up to legal challenges because the law was, “designed and written to mirror existing federal law and to specifically prevent racial profiling.” (Wall Street Journal 4/30/10).

The Arizona Legislature took things a step further by refining some of the language contained in the bill.  “Lawmakers on Thursday night changed the language to require scrutiny only of people who police stop, detain or arrest.  They also changed a section of the bill that barred officers from “solely” using race as grounds for suspecting someone is in the country illegally; opponents had argued that that would allow for race to be a factor.  The legislators removed the word “solely” to bar race from being used by officers enforcing the law.”  (LA Times 5/1/10)

During a recent interview on C-SPAN, State Representative John Kavanagh, one of the co-sponsors of the bill, said that Section 19-18 of the U.S. Attorney’s Manual provides local officials with the legal authority to arrest illegal aliens.  Kavanagh also cited a Supreme Court case that supported local authorities acting to enforce federal immigration law.

What happens next?  What if, in a month or two, the Supreme Court rules that Arizona’s new immigration law is Constitutional?

40 Comments

  1. To answer your last question, I would be stunned.  The Supreme Court never moves that fast.  There would have to be a case brought based on the law, which would then have to go through the federal court system before the Supreme Court would even put it on the docket.  Month or two?

    Besides, being constitutional doesn’t mean something is in the best interest of the people of the state.

      • They had to; the next President was to be sworn in by January 20th, else the office would be vacant.  The way the courts handle the judicial review of legislative statues is very different indeed.

  2. The Tucson and Flagstaff city councils voted Tuesday to sue Arizona over its tough new immigration law, citing concerns about enforcement costs and negative effects on the state’s tourism industry.

    The Flagstaff City Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution that says it’s an unfunded mandate to carry out the responsibilities of the federal government.

    The council will retain legal counsel and could either pursue its own lawsuit or join Tuscon or other cities in efforts to fight the immigration bill.

    Flagstaff is struggling with a $12.8 million budget shortfall this fiscal year, and city staff has been cut by 14 percent, including the loss of 13 police positions.

    Mayor Sara Presler said she realizes each lawsuit Flagstaff faces for either enforcing or failing to enforce the immigration measure could cost the city in roads, police officers or staff. But she said it’s better to be proactive than reactive.

    • “The Flagstaff City Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution that says it’s an unfunded mandate to carry out the responsibilities of the federal government.”

      If the federal government had lived up to its responsibilities, this “unfunded mandate” would not have been necessary.

  3. For people who believe that racial profiling hasn’t been happening all along or that it is a good thing (ignorant white people, cops, white supremacists), I’m sure that SB1070 was already fine at signing, and the minor tweaks to the language make it fair and neutral beyond any doubt.

    But for people who already live with the fear of racial profiling by police every day (Latinos, Mexican immigrants, Asians, Blacks, Native Americans, Arabs, Indians, and anyone who cannot pass for white), SB1070 will ensure more racially motivated stops. The law allows for racially motivated detentions by cops to lead to detention by ICE if someone doesn’t have their papers on hand. Currently, racially motivated detention disrupts the life of the individual and can lead to loss of jobs, housing, and the disruption of the lives of their families. SB1070 gives the cops legal and political cover to harass people of color not just in the name of “cleaning up the streets” but adds post-9/11 anti-immigrant pathos to the existing practices of racial profiling.

    • The cops always profile.  When I was growing up if you had long hair you were stopped, harrassed, etc.  That doesn’t make current profiling right, but it is an inherent human trait to classify. 

      The part I wonder about with the Arizona law is what if I get stopped.  I have no ‘stinkin’ papers, or passport, and I do not know where my birth certificate is.

      • Since at least 1940, federal law has required anyone here legally to carry their “papers” with them at all times; e.g. visa, passport, or green card.

        EVERY country requires that, most for hundreds of years.

        If a cop stops you for running a red light, he demands another “paper”—your drivers license.

        Many “illegals” work off the books, for cash; but they are first in line at the ER.  If they don’t speak English, no-one asks them for insurance info.  Meanwhile, the folks who are here legally wait behind the illegals to get medical care while the hospital staff checks their insurance status.

        And this talk of a “road to citizenship” is complete bullshit.  Very few Latino immigrants have any desire to become US citizens.  They’re here for the money, since their governments and economies have failed to find employment for them.

        But these folks who work off the books and pay ZERO TAXES get the same benefits or more (since they are MediCal eligible) than hardworking folks who are here legally and work on the books.

        We need to require folks to pay their nannies, housecleaners, and gardeners with checks, get a SS# from them, and give them 1099s.

        • Since at least 1940, federal law has required anyone here legally to carry their “papers” with them at all times; e.g. visa, passport, or green card.

          Really?  That is news to hundreds of millions of natural born Americans.  Since I was born here I assume I am here legally, and I have no visa, passport, or green card.  So shoot me.

        • Now that’s just patently discriminatory – asking “Undocumented Democrats” to pay income taxes, social security, etc.!

        • JMO

          “It applies to those not born here who enter here legally.”

          Or have Black or Brown skin or otherwise meet the cop’s criteria for “reasonable suspicion”.

        • JMO

          “It applies to those not born here who enter here legally.”

          Or those who look Black or Brown enough to trigger “reasonable suspicion” of being illegal.

        • JMO,

          The intent and minutiae of AB1070 along with the “good intentions” of millions of ignorant white people will be cold comfort to all the Black or Brown people in Arizona who are pulled over more often and risk deportation if their documents are not in order. Your disregard for the civil rights of people of color who might trigger “reasonable suspicion” of being undocumented in the mind of an Arizona cop tells me you do not value their freedom or your own as much as you claim to. SB1070 puts the lie to law enforcement’s rhetorical fig leaf of “color blindness” which has always been a convenient way of dismissing racial profiling. But cops can’t use that now since cops will be asked to decide who looks “illegal” enough to ask for their papers and not just “suspicious” enough to stop and harrass.

    • downtownster,
      I’d like to hear your ideas on stopping illegal immigration. How should the US prevent it and maintain our laws?

      • Kathleen,

        The U.S. could withdraw from NAFTA and reduce the subsidies provided to U.S. farmers to produce corn and other crops here. This would reduce unfair competition by U.S. agribusiness against Mexican farmers whose local markets have been flooded with U.S. government subsidized corn, resulting in millions of lost farms and economic refugees who come here to seek jobs. This would reduce the number of ex-farmers traveling to the U.S. to find work and allow Mexican immigrants to return to their farming economy.

        No walls, chains, or papers needed.

        • Downtownster,
          Excellent suggestion! I agree 100%. We’d have more American’ employed here if we did!

          Now if we could just get Mexico to more self reliant and less corrupt, then these hard working folks just might have a chance of staying where they want to be, rather than coming here to survive!

        • Kathleen,

          “Now if we could just get Mexico to more self reliant and less corrupt…”

          I think it our responsibility to start fighting corrupt government practices in the U.S. because:

          1) the policies that I mentioned above (NAFTA, bloated U.S. subsidies to U.S. farmers) are what caused the surge of migrant Mexican labor into the U.S.

          2) the U.S. is where we live, vote, and pay taxes

          3) the U.S. is so corrupt that corporate owned politicians just gave between 5 and 8 trillion public dollars in cash and tax breaks to their country club banker buddies who destroyed the economy while betting that it would crater. This has sentenced future generations to “austerity” and destruction of all public investments (social security) and institutions (schools, parks, healthcare) by privatizating them so those same corporations and bankers will be allowed to buy what has been built with public money for firesale prices and then rent it back to us. No bankers or politicians are in jail which means that the “self-correction” that is supposed to be present in functioning democracy is absent… ie that we are corrupt. More money is being stolen up here than in Mexico and it is the alleged protectors who are giving it up to their golfing buddies. It makes us look cowardly and stupid, so is anybody willing to fight to get those trillions back from the bankers and their politicians yet instead of trying to scapegoat immigrants?

        • Downtownster,
          I agree with 95% of what you’ve said. The U.S. and our leaders are heavily to blame for the mess we’re in. No doubt about it! Everything is profit driven, and they are successful in this practice because the average person blindly accepts what is being spoon fed them.

          I do still believe that Mexico must bare the responsibility of how it treats its own citizens, and how it encourages its people to sneak in here illegally, while reaping the benefits of the money they send home to Mexico. Mexico needs to secure its own borders, punish those who try to enter illegally, and provide jobs to their own people. It is wrong to lay that burden on the U.S. Mexico has shown a huge disrespect for and a blatant disregard for our laws. They have shown a lack of responsibility and contempt for this country in general by turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to illegal immigration.

    • Too bad there isn’t more profiling. Maybe the terrorist from Pakistan who tried to blow up part of New York last week would have been stopped sooner. By the way Downtownster, the assumptions you make about white people and police officers are your own version of profiling and racism, but since it is coming out of your mouth I am sure you have some great rationalization for doing so.

  4. “THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

    THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

    THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    THEN THEY CAME for me
    and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

    • First they ordered me to purchase health insurance.
      I kept my mouth shut because I didn’t want anyone to think I didn’t care about others.

      Then they took my money and gave it to greedy fools who’d bought houses they couldn’t afford.
      I said nothing because I didn’t want to be ostracized by my progressive friends.

      Then they opened up the borders to illegals.
      I remained quiet for fear of being branded a racist by my Democrat friends.

      Then it was time for me to start getting the Social Security benefits I’d worked all my life for but there was no money left because the lying, scheming, cheating, scumsucking liberals had spent it all on themselves and their friends.

      • It’s interesting how the right-wingers on this site don’t seem to be able to defend their positions without resorting to childish name-calling. I realize your arguments are weak but surely you can do better than playground level insults. Can’t you?

        • Childish insults? On the contrary I think Niemartin is to be commended for a rather carefully constructed and pointed response to the thoughtless, reflexive recitation of Niemoller’s hackneyed quote.

        • > It’s interesting how the right-wingers on this site don’t seem to be able to defend their positions without resorting to childish name-calling.

          Yeah.  They’re all just a bunch of selfish, greedy, gas-guzzling, carbon-spewing, planet-destroying, knuckle dragging, anti-semitic, white-supremacist, racist, sexist, homophobic haters.

          They need to be more open-minded and tolerant like us.

  5. Anyone here know that Phoenix is the number 2 kidnapping capital – of the entire world?

    “In fact, kidnappings and other crimes connected to the Mexican drug cartels are quickly spreading across the border, from Texas to California. The majority of the victims are either illegal aliens or connected to the drug trade.

    An ABC News’ investigation uncovered horrific cases of chopped-off hands, legs and heads when a victim’s family doesn’t pay up fast enough.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=6848672&page=1

    Arizona is acting to protect it’s citizens because the federal government refuses to do so.  Funny how the federal government wants to control everything – except the border.

  6. > That Mercury News article was, as usual, a bunch of useless crap that is either dishonest, inaccurate due to incompetence and/or laziness, or perhaps some dismal hybrid of both.

    Hmmm.

    A. useless crap
    B. dishonest
    C. inaccurate due to incompetence and/or laziness
    D. some dismal hybrid of both.

    Tough choices, here.

    I think I will have to come down on the side of useless crap.  It kind of covers all the bases.

  7. > Racial profiling is illegal.

    Why bring that up?  The Arizona law is clearly not racial profiling.

    Just because the leftist noise machine is whipping up the lemmings about “racial profiling” doesn’t mean its true.

    But if “racial profiling” bothers you, call it something nice, and cuddly, and reassuring that will make you and the lemming community think it’s really a good thing and not a bad thing.

    Maybe you could call it “affirmative action”.

    That’s it! Instead of calling it “Show me your papers”, we’ll call it “affirmative action documentation counseling for pre-legal prospective immigrants.”

  8. If it’s not racial profiling, that means that everybody in the US would have to carry proof of citizenship or immigration status with them at all times in order to comply with the law.  That would include when you jog down to the local high school track to run a few laps, if you weren’t carrying your birth certificate with you, you could be arrested and hauled off to jail.

    Despite what JMO’C says, this is not currently the case. Green card holders and other legal immigrants are required to keep their documents in their possession, not physically on their persons at all times. And up until this Arizona law was passed, US citizens were never required to carry citizenship documents with them at all times.

    If it is racial profiling, it means that only dark-skinned American citizens have to carry citizenship documents on their persons at all times. If it is not racial profiling, it means that all US citizens must carry citizenship documents on their persons at all times. Take your pick.

    BTW, illegal immigrants do pay taxes, specifically sales taxes, gasoline taxes, etc. And many of them also pay Social Security because they work under a phony SSN.

    If anybody wanted to make a serious effort to deal with the problem of illegal immigration, they would start by passing laws against hiring illegal aliens that featured serious penalties for the employers. The fact that current laws penalize only the employee and not the employer shows that politicians and the big money people who support them are perfectly happy to have a supply of sub-minimum wage workers. In Arizona, here, and in most other places.

    It’s not uncommon for employers to hire illegal aliens, promising to pay them after two weeks or a month, and then call La Migra on them the day before payday. Then they just replace them with a new batch. Why not, since there’s little or no penalty for employing illegal aliens?

    I suspect that the real reason behind the Arizona law is that the Feds haven’t been sufficiently obliging in this regard, perhaps delaying a day or two so that the employers have to cough up the $2 an hour they promised before their employees get deported.  By putting the local police on to the job, they’re hoping to get better service.

    • > And up until this Arizona law was passed, US citizens were never required to carry citizenship documents with them at all times.

      Stop the distortions!!

      The Arizona law says “we’re going to enforce compliance with existing federal law.”

      If it is true that “US citizens were never required to carry citizenship documents with them at all times” under existing federal law, then it’s STILL true in Arizona.

    • 10 MHz Days wrote:

      “If anybody wanted to make a serious effort to deal with the problem of illegal immigration, they would start by passing laws against hiring illegal aliens that featured serious penalties for the employers. The fact that current laws penalize only the employee and not the employer shows that politicians and the big money people who support them are perfectly happy to have a supply of sub-minimum wage workers. In Arizona, here, and in most other places.”

      __________________________

      Actually…  the Federal law is pretty clear…  see below….

      __________________________

      Section 274 felonies under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act, INA 274A(a)(1)(A):

      A person (including a group of persons, business, organization, or local government) commits a federal felony when she or he:
      assists an alien s/he should reasonably know is illegally in the U.S. or who lacks employment authorization, by transporting, sheltering, or assisting him or her to obtain employment, or encourages that alien to remain in the U.S. by referring him or her to an employer or by acting as employer or agent for an employer in any way, or knowingly assists illegal aliens due to personal convictions.

      Penalties upon conviction include criminal fines, imprisonment, and forfeiture of vehicles and real property used to commit the crime. Anyone employing or contracting with an illegal alien without verifying his or her work authorization status is guilty of a misdemeanor. Aliens and employers violating immigration laws are subject to arrest, detention, and seizure of their vehicles or property. In addition, individuals or entities who engage in racketeering enterprises that commit (or conspire to commit) immigration-related felonies are subject to private civil suits for treble damages and injunctive relief.

  9. That Mercury News article was, as usual, a bunch of useless crap that is either dishonest, inaccurate due to incompetence and/or laziness, or perhaps some dismal hybrid of both.

    The Arizona immigration law is magnificent, and not even remotely racist or tyrannical.  I hope to see something very much like it pass in the other 49 states.

  10. http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9FK4PD02&show_article=1

    So, the Major Like Players Association wants us to boycott the All-Star game because of Arizona’s enforcement of federal immigration law.

    And the NFL won’t allow the Super Bowl to be played in Arizona.

    Fine.

    Why not just boycott all sports leagues that have teams in Arizona.

    Major League Baseball and the NFL can take their politics, their grandstanding pandering to left-wing interest groups, their hatred of Rush Limbaugh, and their juicy federal anti-trust exemptions and get lost.

    Forget about building your mammoth, disruptive congestion magnets in the South Bay.

    Go play your games in Mexico City.  You can play the Mexican national anthem, too.  And your fans can celebrate Cinco de Mayo until California liberals pee in their pants.

    Just go away.