Obama’s Immigration Push and Arizona’s New Law

The immigration debate, somewhat dormant for the past couple of years, suddenly came back to the front of the public awareness recently. On one hand, the Obama administration and their allies on Capitol Hill are desperately trying to push through the once-defeated amnesty for criminal aliens. On the other hand, the state of Arizona just passed a landmark law making it a state crime to be an illegal alien, directing its law enforcement agencies to–oh, the horror!–enforce the law, and prohibiting localities from establishing sanctuaries for border criminals.

Obama’s rationale in trying to legalize millions of illegals as soon as possible is transparent: He knows that his agenda will be dead in the water come January 2011, so if he wants to accomplish his “immigration reform” goals he has to do it now, short-term cost to his party be damned. On the other hand, if he succeeds in giving American citizenship to tens of millions of freeloaders, he ensures a perpetual one-party left-wing dictatorship in what used to be the United States of America.

As with the health care disaster, it is obvious that the President is perfectly willing to sacrifice his fellow Democrats in November 2010, because doing so gives him the long-term win. In other words, he is throwing the battle for Congress to win the war with the country. It is a very smart move on his part, based on very sound examples in history. As an irrelevant historical footnote, one of the more profound occasions of this sort was the decision of the Russians to surrender Moscow to Napoleon in 1812. The capture of the (at the time) “Second Capital” proved a Pyrrhic victory for the French and led to their eventual complete defeat in the war.

As we can see, Obama’s motivations are crystal clear.

On the other hand, what about Arizona lawmakers? Are they the bigoted white supremacist fascists the MSM portrays them to be? Do they keep awake at night trying to think up devious ways to harass innocent Hispanic-looking grandfathers at ice cream stands?

In order to pass judgment on this Arizona law, I suggest a rather radical approach. What I am proposing is something that most modern journalists seem to be completely unaware of, or hold in contempt, but please bear with me. The essence of this novel solution to the problem is that in order for us to discuss the Arizona law fairly, let us … actually read the bill in question!

As it turns out, unlike National Democrats on matters of health care refrom and other aspects of their agenda, Arizona lawmakers have done the unexplainable and actually posted their bill on the Internet. In fact, you can actually see it right now by clicking HERE.  How revolutionary.  Another unforgivable thing that Arizona lawmakers have done was to make the bill short — despite the extensive nature of the outcry, the actual bill itself only stands at 17 pages, featuring 45 huge-font lines per page. But wait, those undemocratic scoundrels were not done! On top of (1) making their bill available to the general public and (2) making it short and to the point, they have committed another mortal sin — taking their cue from those ultimate right-wing extremists, our Founding Fathers, Arizona lawmakers made sure their bill is actually readable and easily understandable by an average person.

Oh, the horror! How can something this important be less than 2,000 pages long and comprehensible by anyone other than a division of attorneys? Unfortunately for the pro-criminal alien crowd, that’s what the Arizonans have done, so there should be no place for any misinformation about SB1070.

That aside out of the way, let us dive right in.  Perhaps we can start by considering the most commonly heard complaints leveled against the Arizona law?

  • It allows–or even as much as directs–law enforcement to wantonly stop people in the streets and check their immigration status. Our esteemed president seems to envision this as a SWAT team descending on horrified innocent patrons of an ice cream stand. This is obviously police state tactics, opponents argue, reminiscent of the Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. The streets of Phoenix, they maintain, will ring with the endless shouts of “Papieren, bitte!”

Alas, this is untrue. In this case, as he was when it came to matters of access to health care for illegal immigrants, South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson would be perfectly justified in respectfully telling the president: “You Lie!”

Instead, here is what the relevant section of the law (article 8, paragraph B) says:

For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or agency of this state or 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.  The person’s immigration status shall be verified with the federal government pursuant to 8 United States Code Section 1373(c).

The operative words here are the very first ones, so it is a mystery to me why so many people seem to have missed them.  For any lawful contact. What this means is that no law enforcement official can simply stop anybody in the street and demand documents. It is only in case of an officer having other lawful reasons to approach somebody that he or she can and should check the person’s immigration status if there is a reasonable suspicion about it.

In other words, this is the same scenario as with motor vehicle stops. A highway patrolman cannot simply stop a random car and ask for documents. The driver has to have done something wrong, be that erratic driving, speeding or a busted tail light, to give the policeman the authority to do so. This bears repeating: Arizona law enforcement simply does not have the authority to stop anybody in the street while acting on an immigration-related suspicion alone. Hungry grandfathers can rest assured they can get their fill of ice cream without having the Gestapo arrest him for stepping outside the house without papers.

Which brings us to Scare Number Two:

  • What has this country come to, if citizens now cannot go anywhere without a full set of IDs or they will be arrested and thrown in jail until their identity and immigration status can be confirmed?

Well, that’s not really the case now, is it?  The answer lies, of course, in the same paragraph B as shown above. It does not require anybody to arrest anyone. All it says is that the immigration status will be determined. I assume that most police cruisers in Arizona are equipped with this newfangled invention called the “telephone.” I also assume that police stations and federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement authorities are similarly equipped. Based on these bold assumptions, it does not take a giant leap of faith to conclude that a person’s immigration status, if in question, can be almost instantaneously established without any need to arrest or otherwise harass the person.

All this, of course, presumes that the federal authorities are willing to cooperate with the State of Arizona in enforcement of their own federal laws. If they are not,  then maybe President Obama’s anger is somewhat misdirected.

  • But what about innocent tourists? Blue-eyed, blonde skiing teams from Sweden are probably safe, but an occasional mustachioed visitor from Spain cannot leave the hotel without a passport anymore!

Same thing. I find it hard to believe that a businessman from Seville would not be able to tell the officer his name, the hotel he is staying at, and the dates of his flights. Given that, it should be a snap to confirm his status as a lawful visitor in the country. And if we keep in mind that the person will have committed some sort of a violation to facilitate the stop in the first place, I think most law abiding visitors to Arizona can continue feeling as welcome as they always have been.  In fact, perhaps Arizona will enjoy even more visitors once the law takes effect and the inevitable exodus of illegal immigrants brings with it a decrease in kidnappings and violence and increase in state and local resources.

So, when can a person get arrested? And without a warrant, no less, assuming that he just got stopped in the street? Never fear, the text of SB1070 answers that question, too. Paragraph E of the same Article 8 states as follows:

A law enforcement officer, without a warrant, may arrest a person if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States.

Now, not only are we dealing with some “real” crime (unlike breaking through our borders and violating our sovereignty, which the American political left apparently does not consider serious crimes at all), but we are also dealing with “probable cause,” a much higher level of certainty and a harder thing to prove. It is also good to keep in mind that warrantless arrests for “probable cause” are nothing new and have been ruled perfectly legal many times before, including by the United States Supreme Court.

  • But will this not lead to racial profiling?

Not according to the law, it won’t. It is very clear from the text that the person first has to be stopped for something other than immigration suspicion. In other words, the stop absolutely has to be performed due to the person’s behavior, not the way he or she looks. If that is the case, race has nothing whatsoever to do with this.

  • We know this clause will be abused in order to racially profile!

Any law can be abused. Everybody is familiar with stories of policemen breaking somebody’s tail light and then citing the driver for it. Does it mean that it is an everyday epidemic to be feared by all law abiding motorists? That is absurd. Again, any law can be abused. However, given the current climate of paranoia directed at any suspicion of racial profiling, we can be assured that the usual suspects are just waiting to find any evidence of it. Any such suspicion will certainly be made into a civil rights case, and any real cases of racial profiling will be prosecuted. This is how our legal system works in other cases, and there is no reason to believe it will not work here.

To sum it up, there is nothing in this common sense law that warrants such an outcry from the left. It is not “misguided,” as the same president who once stated that Cambridge police officers “acted stupidly” for arresting a black educator who appeared to be breaking into a house put it, and it does not violate anyone’s civil liberties. It does not authorize squads of KGB-like operatives to roam the streets arresting every tanned human being in sight and throwing them into GULAGs never to be seen again.

Speaking of “misguided,” this manufactured outrage should be directed instead at the Federal government’s ongoing refusal to enforce its own laws, let alone perform one of the very few functions it actually has, an obligation outlined in the very specific enumerated powers in Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution — to repel invasions.  It is a crying shame that not only does our Federal government abrogate its responsibility to protect our sovereignty, but instead it goes as far as to threaten the sovereign State of Arizona when it tries to protect its citizens from an ongoing invasion.

Far from being vilified, Arizona’s initiative should be copied across the nation. It seems that the states have no longer have any recourse but to exercise their sovereign rights in the absence of any evidence that the Federal Government is likely to start fulfilling its most solemn of duties.

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Comments

  1. Lilly says:

    Shhhh, BO doesn’t want to hear or see this! And libs live in their own Utopia right now.

  2. Anonymous says:

    But Shakira and Gloria Estefan are so enlightened!!!! Hmmm, who to side with????

  3. Anonymous says:

    Lilly, stuporia.

  4. D. Crockett says:

    “actually posted their bill on the Internet. In fact, you can actually see it right now by clicking HERE”

    No en espanol???

  5. T.I.M. says:

    Obama is the equivalent of a fire chief who, after ignoring repeated 9-1-1 calls for a burning structure, attacks the homeowners for trying to save their own home, because the arsonists are one of his biggest voting blocs. Based on his logic, the Three Little Pigs would have been prosecuted for trying to build a stronger home to repel the wolf. When the feds repeatedly have proven that they cannot protect our border, Arizona should be applauded for saying “Si se puede!”

  6. whats_up says:

    Samuel,

    You are a little late on the “lawful contact” issue. Gov. Brewer signed a further bill to calm those fears. No longer is it “lawful contact” but in fact a person would have to have committed another crime before the police can check thier status. This strengthens the bill, as “lawful contact” could be the police simply walking up to you on the street and saying hi, that is no longer the case and by adding this clarification imho makes this a much stronger bill.

  7. paul says:

    Well put. I see nothing outrageous here either.

    Link below also has a good synopsis of the recent law:

    http://cis.org/Announcement/AZ-Immigration-SB1070

  8. Jeff Schreiber says:

    What’s up — that’s my fault. Sam got the piece to me on Friday, but because of my exams I didn’t get it ready to go until last night. I didn’t make the changes, but should have. Thank you for noting them.

  9. Legal immigrant says:

    Many may not agree with this but I am DEFINITELY for identification cards with photographs for everybody. Identification should be carried just like the driver’s license and also by all those who do not drive. That’s nothing to do with Nazi Germany. Many countries require identification cards for their citizens that they must carry. First, this would facilitate the work of law enforcements officers when necessary (accident,death, shooting victims, etc.); second, a person without an identification card should not be allowed to work – once illegals know that htey won’t get a job, their numbers will diminish; third, it would make it more difficult for spies and terrorists to cross the border (I realize that there are many ways for these criminals to get into the country and we have our own “home’grown” terrorists)but it would help. It would also stop some of the drug traficking. I am DEFINITELY for STEEP PUNISHMENT for any American citizen employing illegals. It is a crime and they know it. Also, once all of this is implemented, REQUIRE that welfare receivers provide proof, JUST LIKE THE UNEMPLOYED are required to do on a continuous basis, that they applied for a job but did not get it. Companies where they applied must certify the rejection. This would eliminate all those who never wanted to work.

  10. B side says:

    10:37, I’d boycott Shakira and Gloria but I don’t buy that trash anyway.

  11. Carlyle says:

    I’m getting very tired of this – it really really P’s me off – it is not rocket science or brain surgery –

    Trying to decide how to deal with Iran is complicated – primarily because there is no right answer – but immigration is EASY.

    Immigration Solution

    Everyone seems to think this is a bizarre and difficult problem. But it is really simple. As scientists we are taught to study problems, decompose them into smaller pieces, use logic and not emotion, and then synthesize a solution from the analytical results.

    We could write a book on all the details – but in the end, the solution is so clear and obvious that it is hard to see how anyone could argue with it. It almost causes one to strike the forehead in a “V8 Moment”. Here is a summary:

    1. Until such time as we have a Global World Order (that in itself a debatable good/evil), there will be Sovereign Countries.

    2. Not only is it beneficial, but it is essentially the very core of such Nationalism to have a cohesive population and control of the geographic borders. This, in turn, leads to an Immigration Policy – a necessary and desirable state of affairs.

    3. That Policy – and the associated Laws and Regulations – are the proper purview of congress. Various Procedures (rates, quotas, processes, etc.) are likely to be established. Vigorous debate and discussion is required – there is no simple or pat answer. In fact, the Policies, Laws, Regulations, and Procedures need to change over time and must be revisited periodically.

    4. The agreed Laws, Regulations, and Procedures MUST be followed – reactively and proactively. Not only is the fact of being in the Country illegally a major international crime, but there shall be no personal nor organizational sanctuary allowed. Any person or organization who aids or abets illegal immigration is engaged in criminal (felonious?) behavior.

    5. Of particular importance is the denial of access to public services. Other than basic human rights that we already recognize for our own citizens (e.g. emergency medical care with no questions asked first), all government services, entitlements, and credentials (including Driver’s License) are to be denied to illegals. In fact, presentation to or application for such services is the perfect time to check for documented status.

    6. If at such time as it is deemed that more immigrants – or more immigrants from particular countries or cultures – would specifically benefit America, then the matter should be undertaken by the legislature and the Polices, Laws, Regulations, and Procedures should be appropriately adjusted.

    7. Taking the “law into one’s own hand” is Chaos and Anarchy and will not be allowed. This is logically the same as the dreaded “vigilante justice” or “lynching” – no individual or organization has the right or the authority ad hoc nullify the properly legislated collective will of the people.

    See – that’s it – simple – defensible – effective -

  12. Anonymous says:

    Carlyle followed the systems engineering axion…..

    RTFM……
    Read The F**kin Manual

  13. Anonymous says:

    That wall needs 220 in it. Motion activated, 5 second delay.

  14. Gail B. says:

    Some enterprising Spanish student should write a column to explain to illegals that, if they become American citizens, they will be better off to vote the Republican (conservative) ticket because a Democratic majority will give them worse than what they had before they came here — a dictatorship.

    That article, written in Spanish, should be sent to every newspaper possible!

  15. Jeff Schreiber says:

    Gail, thank you for the reminder. John Feeny has a piece that has been translated into Spanish. I will run it over the weekend.

    Jeff

  16. John Feeny says:

    I was just thinking about that today, big guy. Not necessarily that piece, but the concept that we had generally discussed. My sister lives in Texas, so maybe she can link to some friends and contacts down there.

  17. Gail B. says:

    John Feeny, may I copy and paste the Spanish article, to send it to the Atlanta Journal and Constitution?

    Using the Spanish language just might be Obama’s Achilles heel! All the Latinos know is what they’ve heard Obama say translated into language they can understand! Why don’t we do the same thing — translate what we say in English into Spanish? (Geez! I took French in grammar school and high school.)

  18. Jeff Schreiber says:

    Gail, see if you want to after you read it. I like it, but if I remember correctly there might be a few spots in there which could cause some to do a double-take. Plus, the Spanish translation came from Google Translate — so it might actually be the translation for a Chinese food menu or something.

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