Tuesday, April 27, 2010

By The Time I Get To Arizona...

That's the title of a Public Enemy song from Apocalypse '91, the album that marked the beginning of the end for a great rap group. But that's a conversation for another day. It's a protest song of Governor Evan Mecham's not so smart decision to rescind the MLK holiday in 1987. Certainly Mecham was not an excellent representative of that fine state, he was impeached within 15 months of election and was never really liked by his own party, the Republicans. He had many failed runs at state level and somehow was able to win the governorship after a split in the Democratic ticket. Why all the background on that? Well I felt it was important to give some context to the current controversy surrounding Arizona and the immigration law that just passed. Since of course the knee jerk liberal response, as well as the media's, is to cry racism on the passing of SB-1070.

The Arizona law makes it a state crime for aliens not to have their documentation on them. Draconian you say? Not so much. The law is basically a regurgitation of existing federal statutes that the federal government has no interest in enforcing. The Arizona law states quite explicitly:
For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of this state or a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of a county, city, town or other political subdivision 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, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation.

Really not sure how that differs much with 8 U.S.C. Sec 1304(e):
Personal possession of registration or receipt card; penalties
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 the big problem with the racial identity groups, liberals and offended persons everywhere is that Arizona would like to address a real issue for their state by enforcing a federal statute? These people are offended that "undocumented" people should be forced to carry documentation or be thrown in jail in accordance with federal statute. The police already have the authority to ask about someones legal status, something the Supreme Court has upheld at every argument. Police questioning according to the Court does not violate any Fourth Amendment right. Clearly the objections to the law can't be on legal grounds. So what are they based on?

Maybe it is questions of abuse? That could be a legitimate concern, since we certainly do not want a police state where everyone with brown skin is suspicious. Oh never mind that the law cited above says "lawful contact"...meaning people already stopped for other violations and such. Governor Jan Brewer signed an executive order to go along with the law, calling on a training program on racial profiling. Let's be realistic though about the problem going on in Arizona. The state has an estimated 460,000 illegals in a state whose population is around 6.6 million. Of those, 80% are Latino so logically they will be the ones most affected by such enforcement. But once they are in, there is no nice easy way to get them out. It is obviously better to actually enforce the southern borders, but that is something Washington refuses to do. It is the proverbial hot potato no one wants to get burned by. The Bush administration talked about a "virtual fence" and the current administration has scrapped even that. The way the media portrays it, one party is going to ingratiate themselves to Hispanics forever and one is going to alienate them. I do not think that is true as most polls show that Americans in general favor enforcing current laws. Never mind that 70% of Arizonans agree with the passage of their law.

I know what is bugging them, the term "reasonable suspicion" also in the law. Abuse can occur when rogue cops everywhere just had "reasonable suspicion because they were Mexican", is the logic. But what they fail to note or maybe understand is that in order to get to reasonable suspicion you have to pass through lawful contact. Logically speaking you must have one before you have the other. The lawful contact with an officer must occur first, then if reasonable suspicion you ask for their alien cards or other identification. What is so harsh about that? You mean to tell me no other laws are enforced in such a manner? Seat belt laws, cell phone while driving laws, even some drug possession laws are all codified with such stipulations (of course that varies state to state).

Look Arizonans should not tolerate the absolute lack of enforcement of Federal laws already on the books, so they simply made federal law a state law so they can enforce such. I am no Constitutional law scholar but I believe this is totally fine and dandy in our system. I am also a Latino and never have been offended or hurt by such laws. If you decide to make a certain country your place of residence and then earn money in that country you are subject to that countries laws. Once again though the liberal playbook of identity politics is front and center, and you have the President calling it "misguided" and thinking out loud if the Federal Gov't should poke it's nose into it. They are never quite interested in Americans or our laws and traditions, as much as they are hyphenates and other perceived victims of America.

Maybe the liberals are just mad that it may require a certain section of the population to go out and get something required (mandated) by the federal government? Hmmmmm....

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