The ARIZONA Debate: How politicians are knowingly misleading the public for their personal gain.

8 Sep

-Mayor Villaraigosa, I hate to say, but the only unconstitutional action within this whole debate is your boycott on the state of Arizona in violation of the Sherman Act-

     Yes, mid-term elections are coming up and both parties are looking to instigate controversy and rile citizens into the voting booths while also gaining favor from the Hispanic community.  Neither of which is a problem, unless of course the controversy is merely a tactical fabrication intended to manipulate the trusting public.    Our elected officials and media have wholly and unacceptably misrepresented the Arizona law (S.B. 1070).  Our politicians, most of whom have legal backgrounds, should really know better. (Especially you Mr. President. You graduated from Harvard Law School and even taught Constitutional Law for some time. Thus, you knowingly mislead the public when you suggested that, according to the new AZ law, police can now detain and interrogate a family on their way to get ice cream simply because they look Hispanic. Very disappointing, Sir. Very disappointing).
     Saving the best for last I must mention Eric Holder, our U.S. Attorney General.  After publicly denouncing the Arizona Immigration Law as unconstitutional, Mr. Holder later admitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had not yet read the law before making those statements…Wait, I’m sorry.  What?!?!  Did you just say that you didn’t read the 12 page law that has been fueling this national firestorm??  What is your job as “Attorney General” if not being intimately familiar with the law.  Especial a law, such as S.B. 1070 which has been the topic of heated public debate for months now. 
     In an effort to educate those who are unfamiliar with the signed and amended Senate Bill 1070 (the “Arizona Immigration Law”) and other Constitutional issues at play, I will address each misconception and the basis for its falsity. Though there are many concerns at play here, I chose to spare you a doctoral dissertation and stick to the basics.

1. “Arizona criminalizes being an illegal immigrant.” Don’t make me go there.  If you need explanation on why that statement is utterly preposterous, you have bigger issues to deal with.

2. The AZ police can stop and “paper” anyone who looks Hispanic.  Absolutely false.  First, from a common sense standpoint, do you really think police officers are going to stop and question the immigration status of anyone so much as looking Hispanic in a state where 30% of the population is of Hispanic/Latino origin?? Really??  But I digress, the standard articulated in SB 1070 is “reasonable suspicion” which is also the Constitutional standard for when an officer may temporarily detain a criminal suspect to investigate further. See Terry v. Ohio.  Reasonable suspicion requires that the officer look at many factors which, when viewed as a whole (“totality of the circumstances”) provide the basis for reasonable suspicion that the person in question is involved in illegal activity.

2. It is illegal/unconstitutional to consider race, color or national origin as one of the factors for reasonable suspicion.  Again, I am going to start with an approach purely based upon logic. How could we criminalize unlawful presence in the United States by someone of foreign origin, and yet purport to enforce that law without consideration of that person’s national origin??? That’s like saying tax evasion is against the law, but do not look at the suspect’s tax records during your criminal investigation. Are we taking crazy pills? Anyway, legally you CAN consider race, color or national origin as a factor or circumstance, so long as it is not the ONLY factor/circumstance being used to determine reasonable suspicion. U.S. v. Brignoni-Ponce.

3. Arizona is over-stepping Federal Law; “AZ’s new law on immigration is the toughest yet.”  Arizona’s law is neither novel nor expansive compared to the federal immigration law. All the law really does, is enable state police to enforce the already existing federal law on immigration. It almost identically mirrors federal law, and in no way goes beyond it as that would violate the Supremacy Clause among others.  So all it says is “hey, we see a problem here, and are going to use some of our state resources to help you feds enforce the law.”

4. Everyone in Arizona will have to carry around their passports just to be sure. Wow. No. For anyone that can read, apparently not any of our politicians, the law plainly states that a person will be presumed legally present in the U.S. if upon questioning, they provide: a valid driver’s licence; identification card; tribal enrollment card/other tribal I.D.; or any other valid U.S., state, or local government issued identification.  To be clear, an officer questioning a suspect or asking for production of identification without more, does not even implicate the 4th Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure.  Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada.

Bottom Line…

     Finally, it should be noted that upon federal verification of illegal status (no, not just lack of papers ok, verified with our gov’t that this person is not legally here) the AZ state police will then simply hand that person over to federal custody.  I find it abhorrent and utterly reprehensible that anyone would compare identifying and deporting illegal aliens to the atrocious and unconscionable enslavement and execution of the Jewish people in Nazi Germany during WWII. Shame on you.
     So lets not go off the deep end here. Being Hispanic is not illegal, but being unlawfully in the U.S. is.  No matter what your race, color background etc. etc. etc..  In practice will people of Hispanic decent be targeted? Yes, because in Arizona, illegal aliens are entering the country by crossing the Mexican border. Oh, or is it not P.C. to describe the country of Mexico’s border as the Mexican border now?? I hope I didn’t offend anyone.
     Seriously, have we become so concerned with political correctness to the point of absurdity??  Where people who agree that laws against illegal immigration are vital and necessary but in the same breath require that we ignore the single most important factor and basis for the existence of immigration law- that is, national origin???  And yes, let’s not be stupid, in certain instances the closely related indicating factors of race and color are CLEARLY relevant to this determination.  They cannot be the sole deciding factors or everyone except the Native Americans would be reasonably suspicious.  See my point?
     Now, if you want to change our immigration policy, that’s a whole other story. Take it up with the feds or wait for US Sup. Ct. to over rule it or Congress to write new laws.  But don’t blame Arizona, who’s Mexican border is the #1 most popular point of entry of illegal aliens into this country for availing itself of preexisting federal immigration laws in an attempt to protect itself from what it has determined is a major problem and threat to the safety of it’s citizens.

But don’t take my word for it, read the statute for yourself.

One Response to “The ARIZONA Debate: How politicians are knowingly misleading the public for their personal gain.”

  1. vtalbot July 11, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    Good Job! Thank you for clearly articulating the defense of this law and for articulating the opposition and rebuttal.

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