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We Are All Mexicans, Part 2

This commentary reflects the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect those of other authors at Box Turtle Bulletin.

Jim Burroway

April 28th, 2010

Some more data points to consider in reference to Arizona’s law which is an open invitation for racial profiling and harrassment of its legal citizens in the name of clamping down on undocumented immigrants. From the Southern Poverty Law Center:

Arizona’s controversial anti-immigrant law was written by a lawyer at the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which the Southern Poverty Law Center has listed as an anti-immigrant hate group since 2007. The law, a recipe for racial profiling, would make the failure to carry immigration documents a crime and give the police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally.

Want more? How about this:

The principal sponsor of the Arizona law, state Sen. Russell Pearce, has his own history of hate. In 2006, Pearce forwarded an email to his supporters from the neo-Nazi National Alliance titled “Who Rules America?” The article criticized the media for promoting multiculturalism and racial equality, and for presenting the Holocaust as fact. More recently, Pearce has been photographed hugging J.T. Ready, a Phoenix-area resident who is a member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement.

Still think race has nothing to do with this? Pima County (Tucson) Sheriff  Clarrence Dupnik calls the law “racist,” “digusting,” and “unnecessary”. He announced that while he will not release any illegal immigrants who happens to come into his custody (standard practice is to turn them over to Border Patrol), he won’t enforce the new law.

The sheriff acknowledged that this course of action could get him hauled into court. SB 1070 allows citizens to sue any law enforcement official who doesn’t comply with the law. But Dupnik told Nunez that SB 1070 would force his deputies to adopt racial profiling as an enforcement tactic, which Dupnik says could also get him sued. “So we’re kind of in a damned if we do, damned if we don’t situation. It’s just a stupid law.”

Dupnik had harsh words for anyone who thinks SB 1070 will not lead to racial profiling. “If I tell my people to go out and look for A, B, and C, they’re going to do it. They’ll find some flimsy excuse like a tail light that’s not working as a basis for a stop, which is a bunch of baloney.“

Like I said, Oh how I wish Pima County were its own state. (By the way, Pima County was also the only one among Arizona’s 15 counties to vote down Prop 102 in 2008. Viva Tucson!)

Comments

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Derrick
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

What drivel. This site is generally more intelligent than the average blog, but each Burroway post is bringing it closer to the mean.

First, if we are all Mexican, then we must all support the Arizona law, because Mexico’s law parallels that of Arizona, just as it also parallels – and exceeds – the notorious Prop 187.

Second, identifying one sheriff who opposes the law while ignoring the support of the rank-and-file police is disingenuous at best. Third, even if the law did lead to racial profiling, that would not make the law “racist”. Racial profiling can be unfair and ill-advised, but it is not necessarily based on a belief of the inferiority or superiority of any particular race. Fourth, God help me for saying this but I am starting to appreciate Peter LaBarbera’s point about the SPLC. The SPLC doesn’t get to decide what views are legitimate and which aren’t by virtue of a “hate group” designation. It is dangerous to place that kind of power in the hands of an unelected group, about whom we know very little. Frankly, reading the SPLC’s piece on FAIR, I see a lot of quote snippets w/no context from 15 years ago attributed to the group’s founder, not to the group itself. In other words, it looks exactly like the kind of hit job that FRC or AFA would do on one of our groups.

Finally, even if a particular group supporting the law is in fact a bona fide hate group, that doesn’t mean the law is bad. If the KKK supports rural electrification, that doesn’t mean rural electrification is “racist”. The law should be evaluated on its own merits, not on the basis of ad hominem attacks on its supporters.

Too bad Burroway thinks that screeds like this are the least bit persuasive. Please, more thoughtful, fact-based posts from Tim Kincaid and fewer addled sermons from Burroway.

Burr
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Nice try, but it’s not just one sheriff..

The Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police opposed the measure, even though many law enforcement unions and advocacy groups supported it.

John Thomas, a lobbyist for the Association of Chiefs of Police, said rural communities would be harmed disproportionately if residents are allowed to file lawsuits against cities or counties that do not enforce of federal immigration law. Many of those communities are small and do not have the ability to defend the suits, much less pay court costs and hefty fines if they lose.

“They may not have an attorney,” he said. “They barely have (enough) police.”

John in the Bay Area
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

If you had brown skin and knew that anytime that you are out, you could be stopped and asked to PROVE that you are an American citizen, would you support this law?

If in order to compensate for the obvious racial profiling of this law, law enforcement was required to a stop a white person for every brown person that they stopped and make that person PROVE they were an American citizen (no taking folks words or going by these “potentially fake” accents), would you be in favor of the law? Are you prepared to take your passport (if you are one of the 25% of Americans with a passport) everywhere you go, and be willing to be interrupted at any time while out and about to have to prove your citizenship?

I rather think not.

The only way to fairly enforce this law as currently written would be so burdensome to all American citizens and police as to make it unworkable. Not that I have any illusion that white folks are going to be stopped or required to have anywhere near the same level of PROOF that they are American citizens as their brown skinned fellow American citizens.

Jim Burroway
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

First, if we are all Mexican, then we must all support the Arizona law, because Mexico’s law parallels that of Arizona, just as it also parallels – and exceeds – the notorious Prop 187.

You win the award for the most boneheaded argument every made on this board.

What I am trying to get across — and I fear that I’m about to be reduced to making stick figure drawings to make the point — is that this law invites racial profiling and harassment of a particular class of law-abiding American citizens strictly because of what they look like and how they speak. It’s not the undocumented immigrants that this law targets. Sure, some will be rounded up and sent back to Mexico or Central America. But more often than not, it will be American Citizens who will bear the brunt of this law.

For the life of me, I cannot understand how gay people, who have a history of legal harassment, profiling and entrapment — and no, that is not ancient history — all in the guise of enforcing the law (and remember, many of us were lawbreakers until 2003) can turn around and condone legal harassment of fellow citizens. Reform our shattered immigration policy, yes. Strengthen our borders, hell yes. Send actual lawbreakers to jail? Duh! Harass fellow citizens because they don’t necessarily look properly assimilated? No and hell no. That’s the same mentality that insists that of gay people should be harassed into assimilation as well.

Fourth, God help me for saying this but I am starting to appreciate Peter LaBarbera’s point about the SPLC. The SPLC doesn’t get to decide what views are legitimate and which aren’t by virtue of a “hate group” designation.

If you’re upset that the SPLC has exposed the sponsor of the bill as a White supremacist and Neo-Nazi, and that FAIR is being led by a man who believes that Latin-Americans aren’t as “educable” as White people and who has accepted $1.2 million from a racist eugenics foundation, I suggest you turn your ire to those who hold those views, not the SPLC. Don’t blame the messenger.

Matt
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

(Jim–I always appreciate your POV (even when you head off to the conservative spectrum on occasion). I think you hit the nail on the head and I think we need to continue to work for the rights of others–not just our own. United we stand.)

Anyone who says, “what’s the worry?–if I’m not doing anything wrong, I should be fine” is someone who has never been pulled over for “Driving While (fill in the minority)”. Also, as I saw posted somewhere else, “If you think a driver’s license is ID you MUST be white.”

Our DLs do NOT state nationality or citizenship or residency status. Without my passport or a CERTIFIED COPY of my birth certificate, I couldn’t prove to ANYONE that I am a U.S. citizen and neither could you.

I will be damned if I am going to carry around my birth certificate or a passport to travel in my own country. I keep having flashbacks to movies about Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia where the officer asks, “Papers, please?”

I hope they pull over every frigging car passing through the state and every white person not carrying a valid proof of citizenship can spend the night in one of Sheriff Arpaio’s tent jails until a relative can send over the official proof.

AZ police and US Border Patrol should be focusing on the drug gangs and trouble makers, Congress should be focusing on immigration reform, and Mexico and the U.S. should be working on economic policies that help BOTH sides–not just us. That is the only way to get illegal immigration in check.

In the meantime, I hope every gardener, lawn care person, and golf course maintainer in AZ goes on strike. The country club conservatives will repeal the law next week if their fairways and greens become unplayable.

Regan DuCasse
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Alrighty then.
Let’s discuss this rationally. Let’s be HONEST about what the definition of reform should be.

I don’t think there is any amount of streamlining that will satisfy the sheer numbers of people who want to live here in America.
Our immigration laws are the most generous, and we allow more people in this country than any other does.

There was going to be limits to that, there have to be limits.
We just don’t have the capacity.
Did anyone think of that? That perhaps we’ve gone way beyond a saturation point, that even legal immigration can’t absorb.

Now, let’s be honest about conjecture and anticipation of harassment and what that means for legal and illegal residents to this country.

It’s obvious illegal immigrants aren’t too worried about enforcement, or who their activity hurts.
I’m all ears to hear a suggestion on what would compel them to respect our laws, be accountable and understand THEIR obligations to this country, not the other way around.

How many times does it have to be asserted that illegal immigration DOES inflict serious damage?
This isn’t a matter of spite, or lack of compassion, but a serious need to regroup and reorganize several things because of such a massive influx of people we can’t account for?

People are fed up, Jim. Now illegal immigration has led to THIS law, and legal residents fear harassment.

Don’t blame the people who are fed up with inaction by the government, and don’t blame those who ARE law abiding, and see their efforts in being so, disrespected.
Blame illegal immigrants, and blame whatever Americans maintain incentives for their incursion.

There is no benefit to anyone worth the chaos.
I repeat, illegal immigrantion victimizes people in ways apparently no one wants to admit.
Nor are there any bright ideas in how to reducing it significantly except without something like this law.

Regan DuCasse
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Jim, I love you brother, but PLEASE explain to me, how this will mostly target American citizens?

HOW will they “bear the brunt.”? As you say.

How and in what way, does this law not target undocumented immigrants?

I do see your point, that you EXPECT that this law will invite racial profiling. I see that it’s what some people think will happen.

But you ARE conjecturing. And it’s NOTHING compared to the mayhem and problems citizens have had to deal with because of illegal immigrants.

But, what is the worst case scenario you’re anticipating? What’s the worst that could happen, that couldn’t be rectified if you’re a legal resident?

Legal resident, non citizens have green cards. As easily carried as a DL.

What we really need, is to have more of the same laws for each state. Everything is way too patchwork and without coordination for a country this size.

Rick Brentlinger
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

Here’s a helpful New York Times article on Arizona’s new law.

“But since 1940, it has been a federal crime for aliens to fail to keep such registration documents with them. The Arizona law simply adds a state penalty to what was already a federal crime.”

Cole
April 28th, 2010 | LINK

You will never solve third-world poverty and authoritarianism if everyone comes to white-created countries. The people that want to come to the United States for stay in their countries and create the society they want instead of coming here and changing ours.

Jim Burroway
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Regan, the worst has already happened even without this law. I don’t have to point to “worst fears” but recent history. The law by giving police officers carte blanch to engage in racial profiling based not on probably cause but an undefined “reasonable suspicion” will only encourage more raids like this one in the small Indian (Pascua Yaqui) hamlet of Guadalupe in 2008. More here on those raids:

This capped off an evening of spirited protest by about 200 or so demonstrators, and many drivers-by who honked their horns in agreement. While I was there, Rusty Childress’ United for a Sovereign America was nowhere to be seen. People were angered by the MCSO’s (Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office) harassment of their fellow citizens, and many of those present had walked from their homes to be there. I think the demonstrations will be even larger today, as city leaders had initially asked residents to attend prayer vigils being held in different churches rather than protest the Sheriff on site. But obviously, all bets are off now. [Emphasis mine]

I know your background makes you sympathetic to the honorable intentions of the police officers you’ve worked with. Sadly — and I think you know this — not everyone can count on such honorable intentions. People in Arizona know what the police are capable of doing when they decide that targeting a class of people is “reasonable”.

You keep missing the point. You are under the mistaken impression that I am standing up for illegal immigrants. I am not. And I dont’ believe I’ve written one word to suggest otherwise. I’m standing up for American Citizens — and I’ll emphasize that again — who don’t deserve to be racially profiled, which this bill inevitably encourages.

Good god! Have we forgotten our own history so quickly?

Given the history of LGBT people being conflated with child molesters and using that as justification to perpetuate officially-sanctioned bigotry against gay citizens, I’m dumbfounded that people point to undocumented immigrants as justification to write a law that permits police to engage in officially-sanctioned bigotry against brown citizens.

Jose in Ohio
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

I am beyond dissappointed in the politicians of Arizona. I just bought a fairly expensive house in Phoenix last year, and then had to re-locate to the midwest for a job. I am currently renting out my Phoenix house. This law will bankrupt Arizona, as at least one GOP commentator has already said… because of the lawsuits that it will bring, because you can’t expect to be a premier tourist state and a police state that violates civil rights at the same time, because of the boycotts that it will bring, but mostly because it will send the already struggling AZ economy into a death spiral. The poorly compensated hard work of the immigrant community in Arizona is actually the engine that has driven that state’s spectacular growth in recent decades. Now, all of that will grind to a halt.

Some who oppose a boycott say you shouldn’t punish all Arizonans for the stupidity of some of its politicians. It should be pointed out that EVERY SINGLE Republican member of the state legislature voted FOR this bill and the Republican governor signed it AGAINST advice from the police chiefs association, and that Republicans have always had a wide majority in AZ politics outside of Tucson and Pima County.

The economic consequences of this is going to make it completely impossible for me to sell my Phoenix house for anywhere near what I paid for it. But I would completely support any boycott efforts, even if it will hurt me personally economically, because this law is just fascist and racist, and those who claim it isn’t are not just disingenuous, they are willfully ignorant at best, and at worst… they know what they are and are making excuses for it.

Désirée
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

“Give me your hungry, your tired your poor I’ll piss on ‘em
That’s what the Statue of Bigotry says
Your poor huddled masses, let’s club ‘em to death
And get it over with and just dump ‘em on the boulevard”
-Lou Reed

how far we have fallen

Pintick
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

I agree with Derrick. Jim’s commentary is not very intelligent at all. And I don’t buy his defense that he’s standing up for “American Citizens”. An anchor baby may technically be an “American citizen”, but the vast majority of Mexicans in the USA do NOT want to be Americans. They would much much prefer to reclaim “stolen land” for their people. To deny that is to betray gross ignorance about Mexican culture. They are not shy about it, pero necesita hablar in espanol, which Jim probably can’t do.

And Jim dodges the point Derrick made about Mexico’s own incredibly punitive law toward illegal immigrants. Apparently, some illegal immigrants are more equal than others. When he writes, “We are all Mexicans”, he wasn’t talking about the Mexicans that arrest, abuse, and deport illegal immigrants.

Jim, your disdain for “assimilation” is noted. I assume that you prefer “separate but equal” lifestyles for both gays and Mexicans, each living in their own cordoned enclaves with little exchange occurring between different tribes.

Matt
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

“Ditto”, Desiree.

Regan,

“Legal resident, non citizens have green cards. As easily carried as a DL.”

And as I have already stated, if you are pulled over and show a DL and are NOT white, the police will say, “that’s very nice, but could I see proof of citizenship or residency status?”

If you are Latino and are a 5TH GENERATION American, how do you prove that??? Such a person should not have to have a passport or birth certificate with them–why should they? They are as American as you or me.

This law–if it is not preemptively enjoined–will easily be abused. Vigilantes will also demand to see papers from anyone who’s Brown. The subsequent lawsuits will bankrupt a struggling state for which tourism–especially from Mexico–is a major source of revenue.

Pintick
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Matt wrote:

“They are as American as you or me.”

That’s really the crux of the Argument, isn’t it?

Take this hypothetical example. Manuel, an American citizen:

– considers himself 100% Mexican
– dislikes America and Americans in general
– does not want to be American
– would absolutely love it if Mexico reclaimed the land that the USA “stole”

Is Manuel “as American as you or me”?

There are many, many Manuels.

John
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

John in the Bay Area: Have you read the actual text of the Arizona law or do your comments come from from what you seen in media reports? It would seem the latter because the law itself in no way requires one to carry a passport or anything other than a driver’s license (or other valid state and Federal ID). I can understand the concerns about potential violations of the civil rights of American citizens/legal residents, hence why I myself want to hear Arizona explain more about what constitutes “reasonable suspicion” in the law, but let’s stick with what the law actually states and not items that simply do not exist in the text.

Swampfox
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

I guess that we must conclude that there is no illegal alien problem in the United States and that the billions we spend each year on border control is useless. Let’s just take down the border and have an open border policy. The President of Mexico should then be able to reclaim California, Arizona and New Mexico. Of course the Texans would fight, don’t mess with Texas/sarc

John
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

And as I have already stated, if you are pulled over and show a DL and are NOT white, the police will say, “that’s very nice, but could I see proof of citizenship or residency status?”

In which case, Matt, the police officer would be in direct violation of the very law you are criticizing:

A PERSON IS PRESUMED TO NOT BE AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES IF THE PERSON PROVIDES TO THE LAW
ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR AGENCY ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
1. A VALID ARIZONA DRIVER LICENSE.
2. A VALID ARIZONA NONOPERATING IDENTIFICATION LICENSE.
3. A VALID TRIBAL ENROLLMENT CARD OR OTHER FORM OF TRIBAL IDENTIFICATION.
4. IF THE ENTITY REQUIRES PROOF OF LEGAL PRESENCE IN THE UNITED STATES
BEFORE ISSUANCE, ANY VALID UNITED STATES FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT ISSUED IDENTIFICATION.
http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1070h.pdf

If you are Latino and are a 5TH GENERATION American, how do you prove that??? Such a person should not have to have a passport or birth certificate with them–why should they?

Such persons, or ANY other persons, are NOT required by this Arizona law to carry a passport or birth certificate. You are spouting talking points and not addressing what the law actually says. If you believe otherwise then by all means please cite the specific section of the Arizona that states exactly what you claim here.

Swampfox
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Would it be possible to for the United States to adopt the draconian immigration laws of Mexico? I am tired of hearing of speeches by Mexican Presidents haranguing the United States on our treatment of Mexican illegals in this country?

Matt
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

I realize that this is a gay rights website, and not an immigration-policy website, but Mr. Burroway, if you are going to post on such topics, I guess I wonder: do you support any enforcement of our laws against illegal immigration? If so, what kind of enforcement would suit you? As Ramesh Ponnuru put it:

“Nearly everyone in the immigration debate has claimed to favor enforcing the immigration laws. But if you think it is draconian to require that anyone have to show papers proving their legal status, then you’re simply against enforcement. And if you really believe that, you’re not going to change your mind just because the government has set up a “temporary worker” program or a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants: You’re going to be against truly enforcing any conceivable set of immigration laws.”

Matt
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

John,

Thanks for the snippet. Please explain what “IF THE ENTITY REQUIRES PROOF OF LEGAL PRESENCE IN THE UNITED STATES BEFORE ISSUANCE” means.

Pintick,

I should know better than to even try to start a “conversation” with you, but, here goes…

– considers himself 100% Mexican

MOST immigrants–including legal, naturalized citizens–feel strongly towards their home country.

– dislikes America and Americans in general

??? I don’t think they’d be here if they disliked America/ns.

– does not want to be American

I’d be willing to bet that 99.9% of the people you are denigrating would become Americans in a nanosecond if given the chance.

– would absolutely love it if Mexico reclaimed the land that the USA “stole”

At this point, **I** would love for Mexico to take back AZ and TX. We conquered these lands–don’t pretend that they were given to us by god.

– There are many, many Manuels.

Where are your poll numbers? I haven’t seen any that back your claims.

MattNYC
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

BTW, there appear to be two Matts. The one who finds the AZ policy to be idiotic and un-American is now “MattNYC”.

Jim Burroway
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

I see one of the Matts and Swampfox are incapable of reading what I wrote. Yes, I support enforcement of immigration laws. I do NOT support wholesale racial profiling that this particular law calls for while will affect far more American citizens than undocumented immigrants. I also thought that Pres. GW Bush had a rather commons-sense approach to immigration reform, but it was shouted down by the Know-Nothing wing of the GOP. How about restricting your arguments to what I actually wrote, and not to the strawman arguments you wish I had written?

Regan,

We’ve known each other for years and I know we have a very high respect and affection for each other. So please accept this knowing that you know my heart.

I have presented my “worst fears” in my previous comment, but as I said, they were not “worst fears” but actual facts of wholesale racial profiling of US citizens in the name of cracking down on illegal immigrants by Maricopa County (Phoenix) Sheriff Joe Arpaio. We’ve seen what he would do without this law; imagine what comes when he has this law as cover?

I wrote that I have not written one word in defense of illegal immigrants, but I will now.

When I started this web site, I wanted to go to cold, hard numbers to demonstrate that those who claim to use science to denigrate gay people are wrong. We have demonstrated over and over that among the many tricks they use is to use studies which represent the worst behaviors (crime reports, STD clinic studies, studies which only look at mentally or physically ill gay people, etc.) to claim that these are representatives of all gay people. And we have demonstrated how patently absurd that kind of an approach can be. They take a few snapshots at Folsum Street Fair, and all of the sudden we are all half-naked leather daddies hell-bent on public sex acts.

Well, guess what. There really are gay people who are half-naked leather daddies hell-bent on public sex acts. But as we know, that’s not representative of the gay community across the nation.

I an quite sure that, as you attest, there are a very large number of illegal immigrants causing “mayhem and chaos” in communities across the nation.

But I have a challenge: Where is there any evidence that these people are representative of undocumented immigrants overall? Where is the explosive crime rate we keep hearing about? They are not being borne out in crime statistics, which nationwide and in most states are showing a pretty steady decrease despite the rising number of undocumented immigrants.

To the others, I will not remain silent when I see the same tactics which have been historicaly used to denigrate a race of people being also used to denigrate gay people. So why should I — or anyone — remains silent when we see the tactics used against gay people used again against a race of people?

If someone has cold hard data to the contrary, let’s examine it and see where it leads. But meanwhile, don’t forget to tip your hotel maid next time you travel. That motel room was pretty cheap and she works hard for the money.

Matt2
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

To distinguish myself from the other Matt, I added the 2.

Mr. Burroway, I was just asking a question. I don’t think I was rude or boorish in asking it. I think it is a legitimate question and is being debated legitimately by other people on other blogs.

I don’t think it’s fair to say that I am “incapable of reading what you wrote.”

You are of course free not to engage me, or respond, or whatever you want.

Jim Burroway
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Cole:

You will never solve third-world poverty and authoritarianism if everyone comes to white-created countries.

I see what you mean. No, we can’t have all of those people coming in here and messing up our white-created paradise, now can we?

By the way, where did you ancestors come from?

John
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Thanks for the snippet. Please explain what “IF THE ENTITY REQUIRES PROOF OF LEGAL PRESENCE IN THE UNITED STATES BEFORE ISSUANCE” means.

Beats me, I’m not a lawyer. If there is anything untoward in this wording I presume it will be loudly criticized by those who are trained in the legal profession. This snippet though hasn’t been seen from what I can tell as invalidating or unduly limiting the following words which allows valid IDs from any state or the Feds to be used as well.

At this point, **I** would love for Mexico to take back AZ and TX. We conquered these lands–don’t pretend that they were given to us by god.

Nope, spoils of war not unlike most other countries including in Latin America. So “Reconquista” is your true motivation in this and not the merits, or lack thereof, concerning this Arizona law, eh? Interesting.

MattNYC
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Jim–thanks for further connecting “their” issues from “ours”–I think that gets left out too often by every “interest” group looking out for their own.

Something else to add to the mix is that in AZ, the “gringos” (largely Republican) know they are losing the demographic war to Latinos (largely Democratic) and are always trying to disenfranchise their opponents. William Renquist cut his teeth on intimidating Latino voters in AZ. Greg Palast has been documenting this process for years (it impacted the 2000 and 2004 election results).

Palast has a new post:

http://www.truthout.org/behind-the-arizona-immigration-law-gop-game-to-swipe-the-november-election58877

Jim Burroway
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Matt2:

Do you support any enforcement of our laws against illegal immigration?

I wrote:

For the life of me, I cannot understand how gay people, who have a history of legal harassment, profiling and entrapment — and no, that is not ancient history — all in the guise of enforcing the law (and remember, many of us were lawbreakers until 2003) can turn around and condone legal harassment of fellow citizens. Reform our shattered immigration policy, yes. Strengthen our borders, hell yes. Send actual lawbreakers to jail? Duh! Harass fellow citizens because they don’t necessarily look properly assimilated? No and hell no. That’s the same mentality that insists that of gay people should be harassed into assimilation as well. [Emphasis added]

Where there are actual law breakers, they are the ones to be targeted. Pima Co. Sheriff Dupnik in this post above, said that when they arrest someone and discover they are here illegally, they are turned over to Border Patrol. They were already arrested with probable cause for having committed a crime, not some vague, ill-defined “reasonable suspicion.” In the course of that arrest, they were discovered that they were here illegally, and dealt with accordingly.

That is sensible, perfectly legal even without this new law, and it protects everyone’s civil rights.

But going into a brown-skinned Indian or Hispanic neighborhood and carding everyone who happens to be sitting at a park bench on the town’s plaza is what this law provides cover for. It also provides cover for pulling over not-so-random cars driven by dark-skinned people claiming their taillights are out — and I have a really good story to tell about that — and demanding that they prove their innocence. As Sheriff Dupnik points out, both of those examples are racial profiling. They presume guilt and demand that the individual prove his or her innocence. And both of those examples are based on recent documented events, not just folklore.

MattNYC
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

John–that was a joke.

Frankly, Native Americans are the only ones who should be permitted to debate “illegal immigration” in this country.

Regarding the ID issue, someone walking down a street should not be required to have to show identification to ANYONE–even a cop–unless they are doing something suspicious. And if they ARE going to start doing that, I would demand that they stop EVERY SINGLE PERSON on that street–not just the Brown ones.

Swampfox
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

“Something else to add to the mix is that in AZ, the “gringos” (largely Republican) know they are losing the demographic war to Latinos (largely Democratic) and are always trying to disenfranchise their opponents. William Renquist cut his teeth on intimidating Latino voters in AZ. Greg Palast has been documenting this process for years (it impacted the 2000 and 2004 election results).” MattNYC

Of course 500,000 illegals in Arizona should not concern the legal residents (Republican or Democrat) of Arizona? And, how many illegals use Arizona as a point of entry every year and go to other states in our union. My guess is that someday we are going to have make them all legal, give them amnesty, which does anger me. They entered the country illegally. And, there are political figures that play the race card on this issue and want to “earn” these future votes.

Swampfox
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

“Frankly, Native Americans are the only ones who should be permitted to debate “illegal immigration” in this country.” – MattNYC

You are joking, aren’t you?

toujoursdan
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Very good article and comments, Jim. Please don’t back down.

toujoursdan
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

I just don’t get it. The native-born population of this country is ageing and has a declining fertility rate. Soon there will be scarcity in all kinds of jobs – professional, skilled and non-skilled – because of a tsunami of retirements of the baby boomer generation. Soon there won’t be enough workers to keep Social Security and Medicare solvent and pay for the people drawing on these services.

These immigrants are the brightest, strongest and most entrepreneurial of their native country. Sure, they are poorer and speak another language, but so were the Irish, Italians and eastern Europeans who came here a century ago, and in a generation or two, those groups assimilated and did just fine.

I don’t believe in open borders: criminals should certainly be screened out, but otherwise let them in as the labour market demands, and stick to stopping real crime.

I can’t but believe most of this is fuelled by anti-Hispanic sentiment and a “I’ve got mine, screw the next group” mentality. Most of these people are descendants of the Natives who were here before WE came along and drew borders and made being on the wrong side of them a crime. This country was made great through waves of immigration (and hurt by similar waves of hatred toward immigrants who employed the same rhetoric.) It’s sad to see Americans turn on these people now and shoot itself in the foot in the process.

Regan DuCasse
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Jim, I wasn’t mistaken about who you were defending. What I’m concerned about is, what has already happened: that there is defense of federal AND local law enforcers DOING NOTHING, or not having the necessary powers to respond and help control this problem.

Profiling the majority of people who are a majority of the problem, is necessary. Now, our LA peace officers are very well trained in ethnic sensitivity but MUST have enhanced ability to spot certain types of people who are trouble or are a particular demographic that requires their scrutiny.
Profiling is made out to be a bad thing, as if any one of us doesn’t do it at some point in our lives.
If there are groups of young men..or young women, dressed and behaving LIKE GANG members do, then YOU would be wary of them yourself.
Or don’t you know anything about different criminal demographics that has nothing to do with their ethnicity, but OTHER things?

We have desert areas that are home to white supremacists, and meth dealers. They threaten the local peace officers very brazenly, as it happens.
So if a biker club got profiled as part of another criminal problem, it MUST be done.

Think about how familiar a peace officer could become with the people on his patrol route. Think about how important it is for citizens to engage them, and learn who the peace officer is and gain trust.
If a drop house full of dubious activity gets the attention of said civilians or peace officers, then both are enabled to work in concert to solve a problem.

But look at who discourages such cooperation. Look at who is already calling peace officers Nazis for what they need to do.
Look at who complains the most, the very people who can’t be bothered to know the peace officers or for the officers to get to know them.

And this would discourage a corrupt officer as well, and if an officer does something wrong, then he’s less likely to get away with it.

But the patchwork, contradictory ways in which law enforcers are expected to go about their work, lack of cooperation by elected officials and other enforcement agencies, has cause chaos and distrust.

So, if American citizens are concerned about disrespect from peace officers, then it’s up TO THEM to extend themselves in allowing peace officers to know them and help them organize this issue better.

Bitching at the police, or complaining from the sidelines isn’t going to do a damn thing for this situation either way.

And most of all, not even TRYING to cooperate with the police, while making outrageous claims, is more like the way gay people are treated by the opposition. Not the way gay people are treating the opposition.

Illegal immigrants have already behaved badly, and American citizens should first understand what THEY can do to avoid problems, and how to cooperate with peace officers than deciding that said peace officers and the law already can’t be trusted.

Fair?

Swampfox
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Toujoursdan, I am glad to see that you don’t believe in open borders. But, then you say, “but otherwise let them in as the labour market demands, and stick to stopping real crime.”

I am all for a guest worker program and for legal immigration. Mexican’s can sign up and serve in our military, getting on the fast track to become United States citizens. As for illegal or legal immigration fixing Medicare and Medicaid funding, that is not going fix the problem. The unfunded liabilities of both are mind boggling. Countries (Greece, Spain, Japan, Britain, etc.) around the world are beginning to recognize that government spending is the cancer that is threatening their economies and ours.

I did click on your link and did find out that you are a socialist. Friend, socialism does not work. If you think that the law passed by Arizona is draconian, just wait until the full impact of Obama’s health care legislation is put into force.

TonyJazz
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

It’s clear that Swampfox and Regan agree with the Arizona law. I just pray that they do not represent the majority of gay people in this country, and that our community truly is more reasonable and compassionate towards all of the world’s peoples. Swampfox and Regan are like gay Republicans: a different breed. I just hope that they are less hypocritical than most of them… Maybe this is just one topic that they both care passionately about, but they may be more consistent in their views towards gay rights (at least).

Timothy Kincaid
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Jim,

I do not believe that very large number of illegal immigrants causing “mayhem and chaos” in communities across the nation are representative of undocumented immigrants overall. I think they are a minority of that community.

And I don’t want to “ship ‘em all home.” That would include shipping home people I know and like. But I do want to ship home those causing the mayhem and chaos.

So what should we do?

Should we treat the Mexican drug wars being fought in Arizona as though they were domestic squabbles? Should we treat the kidnappings and beheadings as though they were crimes of passion and just put the “actual lawbreaker” in jail?

Are we to look for just the specific person who pulled the trigger and let all of the rest of his cartel stay here as though they are just good law abiding people who want to feed their family?

Unfortunately, there is a problem. And we only have a few choices. We can pretend like it’s not happening or we can do something.

I don’t know if this law is the right answer, but I do know that ‘do nothing’
is not the answer that Arizonans are willing to accept and that so far that is the only counter-proposal that has been offered to them.

Regan DuCasse
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

My aunt, was born in Tulsa, OK. Her mother, my grandmother was Native American. During the Depression, there was a lot of disorganization of NA’s and my aunt didn’t have a birth certificate.
When she was applying for some other kind of document, it was interesting to find out how she was able to prove her citizenship.
But, SHE DID IT.
As we all have to at some point.

Identity is 90% of how each and every human culture and civilization organizes itself.
Now everyone’s all up in arms that another measure of documented identity is necessary in AZ?
Who are you (not what are you) is the first question asked between strangers and the first gesture of acquaintance towards recognition ever made.

I understand this issue more than I get credit for.

Timothy Kincaid
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

toujoursdan

Most of these people are descendants of the Natives who were here before WE came along and drew borders and made being on the wrong side of them a crime.

You are factually mistaken. The indigenous peoples of Arizona did not move south of the border “we” drew. They are still right there where they have always been.

It is a fiction that Arizona, New Mexico and California were once populated by people who are now called Mexican. Yes, the territory was once under Mexican control, but the people didn’t pack up and move south when it became American territory.

There are large communities of Hispanic peoples in the Southwest, but a little recognized fact is that many are not genetically, culturally, or ethnically Mexicans. They are descendants of Spaniards and local native Americans. They don’t even speak the same dialect of Spanish.

There are others who did come up from Mexico and other nations to the south. But they are not “reclaiming” land. Rather, they are immigrating to land that they never had.

The argument that Arizona “really” should be Mexican because it is the native home of Mexicans makes about as much sense as arguing that the Aztecs are the “real” owners of the Hopi lands.

toujoursdan
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Toujoursdan, I am glad to see that you don’t believe in open borders. But, then you say, “but otherwise let them in as the labour market demands, and stick to stopping real crime.”

Right. There is no “buts”. One can do both. Allow people to come here as the labour market demands, screen out criminals and focus on crime. They do this quite effectively in other parts of the world.

I am all for a guest worker program and for legal immigration. Mexican’s can sign up and serve in our military, getting on the fast track to become United States citizens. As for illegal or legal immigration fixing Medicare and Medicaid funding, that is not going fix the problem. The unfunded liabilities of both are mind boggling.

The Social Security and Medicare system depend on more workers paying into the system than drawing out of it. The reason it isn’t working now is that the age structure of the country is changing. We are ageing. Immigration is one important measure to help address this.

I did click on your link and did find out that you are a socialist. Friend, socialism does not work.

The kind of socialism I advocate works very well, actually. See: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark. All score higher than the US on the Human Development Index, have growth rates similar to the U.S. and perform better in areas like education, healthcare and life expectancy.

If you think that the law passed by Arizona is draconian, just wait until the full impact of Obama’s health care legislation is put into force.

You do know that Obama’s healthcare legislation is merely a copy of Romney’s Massachusetts healthcare initiative. It was the called “the conservative solution to the healthcare crisis” as recently as the 1990s. Even former Bush speechwriter David Frum admitted this:

“But we do know that the gap between this plan and traditional Republican ideas is not very big. The Obama plan has a broad family resemblance to Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan. It builds on ideas developed at the Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s that formed the basis for Republican counter-proposals to Clintoncare in 1993-1994.”

Frumforum: Waterloo

It’s not a socialist plan at all. The health system is still funded by private, for-profit, insurance companies and delivered by privately employed doctors and the current network of private and public hospitals. That by definition is not socialism.

Personally I am in favour of the single payer French model. That isn’t really socialism either – the hospitals are privately owned, but it gives better service than the American model at far less cost.

toujoursdan
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy: I used to live in Phoenix. The tribes of the southwest moved back and forth across the modern border for centuries as climate, farming and grazing patterns dictated. It was only after the U.S. stole Mexico’s land that this border appeared and attempts were made to stop that.

Regan DuCasse
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

TonyJazz, you’re doing EXACTLY what shouldn’t be done.
Making assumptions.
NOT making any other suggestions towards a solution to this problem.
Deciding you know something negative about me, when you DON’T know me.

I don’t have a choice in agreeing or disagreeing with this law, do I?
I agree that illegal immigration is doing serious damage. I agree that law enforcers have been so ineffective something drastic was bound to come along that would be objected to.
I agree that illegal immigrants SHOULD be the ones who are compelled to do right, and be accountable.

MY suggestion is that the communities affected work TOGETHER and cooperate with local law enforcers and understand their responsibility to allowing the agency to know WHO IS a legal resident and who isn’t.

But the Nazi/racist/anger/paranoia/ meme only serves MORE distrust between legal and illegal, between ethnic groups and between civilians and peace officers.
Lots of complaining, and obviously more people who won’t cooperate, even before the law is in effect.

I’ve been called racist and Republican and something else is likely to come my way.
But does ANYONE ask me about MY experience with illegal immigrants and how LA police officers handle it?
No.
Does anyone ask me about breaches of Constitutional rights against brown skinned legal residents over the same issue?
No.

Just name calling and pointing a finger.

It’s not racist to point out the problem of illegal immigration, nor is it racist to expect something tough to be done about it because that’s what it’s come down to.

But let’s see you think about my suggestion that community based outreach in these 90 days up to implementation will prepare those who this most concerns to ACT like legal citizens and help the peace officers go about this as humanely and effectively as possible.

I’ve managed to discuss this without name calling, and without pointing a finger.
If that’s what speaking FROM EXPERIENCE will get me, then what DOES that say about you?

Swampfox
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Regan, I don’t know when birth certificates began to be issued. My mother had a cute story about getting her first drivers license. She had been driving for a couple of months and just pulled up to a motorcycle cop in Mount Pleasant, SC and asked for a license. She gave him the fee and he issued the license.

I hope that you are doing well. June the 7th marks the the third year of my breakdown and spending 17 days in the hospital. I am doing a lot better these days. It took me a long to deal with my sexuality, far too long.

TonyJazz
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

I’m tired of this dialogue, so I will discontinue. I was spot-on about Swampfox’s views when I saw him call another a socialist and he complained about Obamacare, and Regan is one of those tired “I got mine and you should have to earn yours” sorts of people. Even worse, Regan tries to win arguments by volume of text instead of logic.

Sorry, guys, but you’re both too defensive for me to take seriously. I wish you both the best, though…..

Timothy Kincaid
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Toujoursdan,

The tribes of the southwest moved back and forth across the modern border for centuries as climate, farming and grazing patterns dictated. It was only after the U.S. stole Mexico’s land that this border appeared and attempts were made to stop that.

Are you asking me to believe that the current people who are crossing the border in Arizona are part of the tribes of the southwest? I mean, you do have to realize that this is not a credible claim, right?

And I’m amused that you call it “Mexico’s land” and claim that the US stole it.

After 10,000 years or so of Native American settlement, it was under the control of Spain for about 125 years. Then the northern part was Mexican for about 12 years, Texan for about 10 years and, after a battle, American for the last 150.

Southern Arizona was purchased from Mexico for the purposes of running a railroad across it. Mexico had owned it for about 32 years.

One of the biggest problems with reconquista is that it is based on a false premise: that a Mexican from Oaxaca is more entitled to California than is Ron who actually is descended from Californios or to New Mexico than Micheal who is one of those Hispanics/Natives whose ancestors lived in New Mexico while borders changed around them.

But because Ron and Micheal are both Americans, they are deemed to be the aggressor and the Oaxacan the rightful owner.

Jim Burroway
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Swampfox,

I do hope it is appropriate to wish you a happy anniversary, not so much for the breakdown as for the breakthrough. I hope you will remember to do something very special for yourself today. I can emphasize with you on taking far too long.

Jim Burroway
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Illegal immigrants have already behaved badly, and American citizens should first understand what THEY can do to avoid problems, and how to cooperate with peace officers than deciding that said peace officers and the law already can’t be trusted.

Fair?

To a point. But what do you do when said peace officers have a history that demonstrates that they already cannot be trusted What do you do when a Sheriff’s department conducts successive raids of between 50 and 200 officers in the tiny Indian community of Guadalupe (pop 5500) all because Sheriff Joe Arpaio sees a wetback in every brownskinned person on the street? This ain’t L.A., and it’s certainly not California. It’s Arizona, where this is not just some dreamed-up hypothetical fear. It’s our reality.

Jim Burroway
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy,

Should we treat the Mexican drug wars being fought in Arizona as though they were domestic squabbles? Should we treat the kidnappings and beheadings as though they were crimes of passion and just put the “actual lawbreaker” in jail?

Are we to look for just the specific person who pulled the trigger and let all of the rest of his cartel stay here as though they are just good law abiding people who want to feed their family?

Of course not. We already have drug-trafficing and racketeering laws (including RICO) which criminalizes all of that and gives police broad powers to track down and deal iwth organized crime. It makes no difference if the person committing those crimes are American citizens, legal immigrants, illigal immigrants or Santa Claus. That’s not to say that fighting those crimes come easy — fighting organized crime never is. But I don’t see how stopping every pedestrian in Guadalupe is a legitimate exercise of police powers to solve that crime.

African-Americans make up a hugely disproportionate segment of the prison population. I would imagine that they also make up a disproportionate segment of those with outstanding arrest warrents, and many of them are involved in gang activity. Would you advocate we go into Compton and run a warrent check on every African American you find on the street? Of course not.

Regan DuCasse
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

I have two questions for the folks here. 70% of the voting public in AZ wants a serious show of enforcing what laws they have, or enacting something harder for the message to get across.

How many of that majority are Latino American citizens? If there is a significant percentage, it would mean that Latino Americans are against illegal immigration, as they should be.

However, the loyalty of elected officials and the ones that demand enabling of illegal immigration should be questioned. Their office requires they be duty bound to THIS country’s protection.
Otherwise, treason isn’t an unreasonable charge.

But the most important point is this: how is it that illegal immigrants, who can’t vote and have shown no allegiance to this country, have more political clout than gay Americans?

Or more political clout in so many parts of the country?

Corporations shouldn’t be allowed treasonous activities either, and THEIR clout is no reason to allow it to the detriment of this nation’s safety and unity.

Timothy Kincaid
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Jim,

I wish that RICO resolved the problems with the current Mexican drug gangs in either your state or mine. It doesn’t.

Your state and mine have huge numbers of Mexican nationals (and mine has Russian nationals and Armenian nationals and Vietnamese nationals) who are gang members and who terrorize communities. And there is absolutely nothing that the police in LA are allowed to do about it.

They can’t consider these civil terrorists as anything other than Americans with constitutional protections. I reject that notion.

We do not have to treat all persons wishing to come to this nation equally. We are perfectly entitled to say “welcome” to those who will contribute and “no way” to those who will do harm.

I believe it is reasonable to deny entry to gang members. I believe it is reasonable to deny entry to those who may have committed no identifiable crime but who are closely associated with drug cartels.

Those who are American citizens are our problem. They are the result of our own social situation and we need to address them. But we have no obligation to adopt the criminals of the world.

It very much does matter to me whether criminals are native born or immigrants. We are stuck with our own but we have no moral obligation to tolerate or absorb the criminals of another nation.

There may be a disproportionate number of African-Americans with outstanding arrest warrants (although reports suggest that in Los Angeles this is no longer true – immigrants here illegally are now the vast majority, if the published info is correct).

But those African Americans have family here and the Black Church to pressure them to get their act together. They have multi-generational influences that can act to counter gang activity. They have mentors and good examples – people they have known all their lives.

And if someone gets shot in a black neighborhood, it is someone’s kid, someone’s brother, someone’s father. There is a much closer cost to the community.

But quite often these influences are not present in Arizona’s Mexican drug wars. Mom, brother, and the parish priest are hundreds of miles away and anyone killed is just an enemy.

We do need to fix our own problems. And let me be clear that honest hard-working folk from other countries who want to take advantage of the American Dream are not our problem.

But we must find a way to identify and exclude those who want to harm us. If we do not, then there will be more and more laws like this one. And while we may worry that this can allow civil rights abuses, fewer people will be open to that concern if something isn’t done.

MattNYC
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

John–no, that last one is not a joke. If I had a time machine, I’d probably go back and give the Natives machine guns. Even if that would have prevented my family from coming here and meant I never would have been born, it would have prevented the genocide that happened here.

Regan, et al., I do not believe that I have heard a single serious commentator–here or elsewhere–refer to law enforcement officers as “Nazis”. What is being called Nazi is this policy and the effect it will have on law enforcement officers. Most LE organizations are on the record as opposing this new law because of the negative impact it will have on them and their ability to “protect and serve”.

Besides creating unnecessary work for LOCAL law enforcement (this is a Federal issue–which does need to be addressed), it will drive real crime victims to not report crimes for fear of being taken into custody themselves. Witnesses will dry up even faster. Many in law enforcement are concerned about the ramifications of this law.

It is the same reason why doctors and nurses — by law — are not supposed to ask about status. It will lead to sick people (imagine someone with TB or another highly-communicable disease) staying sick and infecting others–including citizens–around them.

Same as that’s a recipe for a pandemic, so is it a recipe for unreported crimes.

Jim Burroway
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy,

So then you’re saying that it somehow the problems of illegal immigration are the collecltive fault of the residents of Guadalupe, and that they should just suck it up whenever Arpaio wants to go on his racial profiling raids?

If I saw raids happening in San Francisco or Sacramento or Brighton Beach targetting fair-skinned white people in order to try to flush out the Russian mob, then I might have to concede that suppositions of racial superiority have nothing to do with the motivations behind this law. I haven’t ever heard of that happening though and don’t expect to.

You’re absolutely right. We do not have to treat all persons wishing to come to this nation equally. We are perfectly entitled to say “welcome” to those who will contribute and “no way” to those who will do harm. Our constitution and Bill of Rights basically allows us to be almost as arbitrary and caprecious as we want to be when it comes to non-Citizens.

However we do have to treat all American citizens equally, and that means no racial profiling. A core principle of American law is that there is no such thing as collective guilt for the actions of individuals, even when those individuals are gangs and organized criminals. We don’t get to run into a community, line up a class of American citizens who have racial or linguistic characteristics that do not match those of “real Americans”, and demand that they prove themselves innocent. If that is what it comes to, then our Bill of Rights are truly dead.

And frankly, when it comes to the expendature of police resources, it’s preposterous to think that lining up arbitrarily chosen communities of color like that is going to have a dent in the drug war. We may as well line up everyone within a five-mile radius of your neighborhood next time the Circle-K gets knocked off across town. It’s hard to image a more inefficient method of crime-solving.

Jim Burroway
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Regan,

How many of that majority are Latino American citizens? If there is a significant percentage, it would mean that Latino Americans are against illegal immigration, as they should be.

However, the loyalty of elected officials and the ones that demand enabling of illegal immigration should be questioned. Their office requires they be duty bound to THIS country’s protection. Otherwise, treason isn’t an unreasonable charge.

If Latino American citizens are found to be mostly in opposition to this bill, does that mean that they are not loyal Americans?

And after answering that question, let me ask this: Does this mean that I’m not a loyal American because I see this bill as being an unconstitutional infringement on our Bill of Rights?

What about the White Dems in the AZ legislature that voted against this bill. Are they traitors?

Where are you going with this?

By the way, Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-Tucson) who is the most outspoken critic against this bill has also been one of the most reliable LGBT allies in Southern Arizona. When we wanted to put radio commercials on the air against Prop 102, he volunteered to cut two commercials for us, in English and Spanish. No other Congress or state rep. Democratic or Republican, would agree. And his support didn’t stop there. He was also just about the only Democratic political candidate who would bundler our No on 102 literature with his mailings and door-to-door drop offs in his district. He also hosted a public fundraiser at his campaign headquarters for us even though he was in the midst of running for re-election himself, andhe made his headquarters available to us when we needed meeting space. He is a great American who understands that bigotry against one group of people is bigotry against us all. I am exceptionally proud to have him as my representative.

CPT_Doom
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Thanks for the snippet. Please explain what “IF THE ENTITY REQUIRES PROOF OF LEGAL PRESENCE IN THE UNITED STATES BEFORE ISSUANCE” means.

It means Arizona only accepts ID that requires you to prove you’re a citizen before getting it, like a passport. I don’t know about the rest of you, but the only things I needed to get a driver’s license were documents proving my residence, not my citizenship.

Even if your driver’s license meets the requirement, this is a clear violation of the 4th and 14th Amendments. If you don’t have ID that meets the requirement, and fail to carry an alternative means of proving you’re a citizen, you can be convicted under the law and jailed for 6 months, even though you’re a citizen and have broken no other laws.

When I consider this law, I think about my sister’s mother-in-law. She was born in Puerto Rico, so she is a native-born American, but did not master English until she was an adult and moved to Massachusetts (where, incidentally, she raised 5 children and became a nurse-midwife). She clearly looks Hispanic, speaks with a heavy Spanish accent, and has a dubious birth certificate because she was the last child in a large family, was born at home without the assistance of any physician or midwife, and her father did not go into town to register her birth for several days. She is 75 and does not know to this day what her actual birthday is. Can you imagine the nightmare she would face were she to be targeted by this law?

Meanwhile, her grandchildren, who are all half Hispanic and half Anglo, have an incredible variety of physical characteristics. Some look very Central American, others very European. Why should her grandsons Tony (who is very dark-skinned and clearly Hispanic) and Andrew (his brother, blond-haired and blue eyed) face different potentials for being targeted under this law?

Timothy Kincaid
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Jim,

The AP has a discussion of the factors leading to the law:

Over the past three years, Border Patrol agents have made 990,000 arrests of immigrants crossing the border illegally in Arizona, or an average of 900 a day. The figures represent 45 percent of all arrests of illegal immigrants along U.S. borders.

Authorities routinely come across safe houses and vehicles jammed with immigrants across the vast Arizona desert. Last week, 67 illegal immigrants were found crammed inside a U-Haul truck — a fairly typical scenario in the state.

“We’re on a hamster wheel here. We’re chasing our tail until that border is secured,” said Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, whose territory includes busy smuggling corridors.

The volume of drugs coming through the Arizona border is also eye-popping. Federal agents seized 1.2 million pounds of marijuana last year in Arizona. That amounts to an average of 1.5 tons per day.

Pot busts have become so common that until recently federal prosecutors in Arizona generally declined to press charges against marijuana smugglers caught with less than 500 pounds.

Phoenix has also been dubbed the kidnapping capital of the U.S. amid a surge of extortion-related abductions tied to drugs and human smuggling. The city has averaged about a kidnapping a day in recent years — some resulting in torture and death. Victims’ legs have been burned with irons, their arms have been tied to the ceiling, their fingers broken with bricks.

The anger over immigration-related violence reached a boiling point in late March when a popular cattle rancher named Rob Krentz was gunned down along with his dog on his property near the border. With authorities suspecting an illegal immigrant, politicians seized on the killing to argue that border security is dangerously weak.

Some of us look at this and say, “it has to stop.” But far too often the only response to our concerns is, “You’re racist!!!”

Those who support unfettered unidentified immigration do not want a solution. They oppose the nation’s immigration laws and don’t want them to be enforced.

I don’t know whether the new law will help things or hurt things. But I do know that refusing to provide alternate solutions will not win the argument.

Until those opposed to the law are willing to look at the problem and admit that something needs to be done, they will be ignored. Even if it does mean that some people with Hispanic heritage are viewed with more suspicion.

Donnchadh
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

I think all countries should allow unlimited travel across their borders. This is not a cultural or economic matter, it’s a basic human right. I would not want any government to ever stop my family from travelling all over Europe. The European Union allows free travel and it has done no harm. restricting travel leads to economic stagnation, parochialism and monolingualism.
Once that basic right is recognised, I can promise you that illegal immigration will disappear.

Swampfox
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

“I think all countries should allow unlimited travel across their borders. This is not a cultural or economic matter, it’s a basic human right.” – Donnchadh

I am all for the right of legal immigration. Nations have the right to limit immigration. What you propose is simply untenable for any sovereign nation.

Burr
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Gee.. don’t you think the ultimate solution to stopping the drug smugglers and drug-related murders is to.. oh… I don’t know..

..end the drug war?

Just a thought..

Regan DuCasse
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

The provisions in the bill, clearly maintain the 4th amendment’s protections.

One cannot be detained on ETHNICITY alone.
That clause has been tested in other cases, any violations are vetted and the law committed to law enforcement agents and their deputies.

Everyone insisting that’s what this bill constitutes isn’t making a good argument against it.
But seem to be making a case FOR illegal immigration.
By demanding that our country ignore the damage done and/or laws violated by AWARDING such actions with anmesty.
A previous amnesty brought MORE illegal immigration, because the other parts of that contract, were not met by the Reagan admin. Which was, that it would be the last and ONLY one, and enforcement would be strict.

All the benefits, with none of the accountability. Thanks a lot Pres. Reagan.

Illegal immigrants brought this on their ethnic brethren, the least they could do is own it and RECTIFY it.
And those incidents that HAVE violated someone’s rights based on their looks are and can be adjudicated on their own merits.

Being asked to identify yourself isn’t un Constitutional.

And if your ethnicity requires being asked that more often, how is that un Constitutional IF a certain amount of people who violate the laws (whatever they are) look like you?

Donnchadh
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Swampfox, there is a big irony in your comment. You say you are in favour of legal immigration. But that is simply the migration that our laws decide to recognise. I am also in favour of legal immigration, and because of that I want all immigration to be legal.
Obviously while the laws exist they have to be enforced. But they are left unenforced on a huge scale because the crimes they create are victimless that only a minority care about stopping. Just like sodomy and drug prohibitions.
And if you don’t think these laws violate a basic right, think of the converse – laws that prevent people from leaving the country, as the Eastern Bloc had. It is the same principle.

Jim Burroway
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy,

I live within 100 miles of the border. Chris and I used to cross the border quite regularly, although we haven’t been across for more than a year now because of these problems. We also enjoy sunday drives along Arizona’s more scenic and out-of-the-way back roads, but there are many roads we don’t venture on like we used to. I know very well the problems we are facing, and I don’t think any immigrant advocates (Donnchadh notwithstanding) argue that nothing should be done.

I have grown quite tired of the false argument that it comes down to either doing nothing or doing this. There have been some very good propsals over the years. I have almost nothing good to say about President Bush, but I thought his proposals were very realistic and sensible. I just read that Senate Dems have released an outline of a new set of proposals that I haven’t had a chance to look into.

But let me shift gears a bit.

Between 1981 and 2007, 583,298 Americans have died of AIDS. Every year, the CDC issues yet another report that says that somewhere on the order of half of all new HIV infections are MSM. People jump up and down and hollar do something! and LaBarbera and others of his ilk grabs these all-too-true facts and says that the solution is to write discrimination against LGBT people into the laws of the land. After all, we can’t be trusted with our own health, they say, and allowing gay marriage (or any other rights or pro-gay initiatives that have come along) will only encourage this “deathstyle,” as they say.

You and I both believe with all our passions that this argument is dead wrong, that nothing justifies the denial of equal treatment for gay people.

For me, this is what it comes down to: either I believe in this principle or I don’t. And if I believe in this principle for LGBT people, how can I shut off that very same principle when another group of citizens are affected?

Doing Something! can never mean discarding the Bill of Rights or the denial of equality. It cannot mean denying a class of US citizens their rights to free association, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, freedom of presumption of innocence until proven guilty, or the freedom that comes with equal protection under the law. It’s what you and I both fight for.

Regan DuCasse
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

That’s my point Jim.

WHY support anything that’s not legal, or that gives illegal AND legal citizens the same privileges?
What that does, is make legal immigrants into fools, and renders the importance of citizenship and it’s accountability completely worthless.

And why would those elected to protect the FUNCTION of their states, do something like that?
Except for political correctness at it’s worst.

It’s very difficult in CA to trust the motives of someone (whatever their ethnicity) who votes for, or enables acts that violate IMPORTANT laws that maintain the line between legal and illegal residents and the order necessary for a state to be efficient enough for everyone.

It doesn’t seem to be coincidence that most of our elected Latino officials forget that there are people OTHER than Latinos that matter in our state.
If trust gets broken in that matter, it’s not a racist sentiment to say that they perhaps can’t be trusted to consider ALL ethnicities, and legal residents first.

Just as terrorists wear no uniforms, nor adhere to Geneva convention rules of engagement or care about shielding themselves among civilians to hamper defense from them…
illegal aliens are doing much the same thing.
They hide behind a country and Constitution, yet won’t be held accountable to it.
And integrate among legal citizens in ways that hamper their detection and the duties of law enforcers.

So, apparently, illegal immigrants could give a crap about who gets inconvenienced, scrutinized, hobbled and damaged by what THEY do.
And those whose job it is to control it, are afraid to.
And I can see why.

I hear a lot of complaints, but NO solutions.
And, I DID say that perhaps it’s good idea for legal citizens, even as a body, engage the local deputies and allow the peace officers to know who is who, BEFORE the fact.

We also all have a right to go to peace officers FIRST and introduce ourselves.
We have every right to communal meetings and individual direct contact to understand what BOTH sides are required to do.
There are instructions in what NOT to do if a police officer stops you for any reason.
Believe me, most of them would rather not.

Legal residents are more empowered than they think.
But I’m not seeing the more reasoned and rightful way to go about it.

The shouting and bitching and hysteria has started, instead.
Good luck with that.

Burr
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Being asked to identify yourself isn’t un Constitutional.

Hmm.. I dunno about that..

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0443_0047_ZS.html

Regan DuCasse
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Oh and Jim,
It’s oft been pointed out that illegal immigrants are necessary and support our economy.
Of course it’s to keep anyone from complaining about the real reason this is in effect.

The agro business, corporate lobby is quite strong.
But it remains a question: what does that have to do with being illegal?

A field worker can’t be a legal resident or employee. No matter how unskilled the labor, no matter how low paid…what’s that got to do with status?

Nothing actually.
So yes, Jim…these corporations ARE disloyal. They ARE traitors, and they want you and me and our taxes to offset expenses they can’t be bothered to pay.

They lobby for illegal immigrants directly or indirectly at the EXPENSE of our economic stability and efficiency.
The banking industry broke their own federal laws to accommodate the kind of cash flow only criminals could generate between countries.
So yes, banking is guilty too.

There is something to be said about loyalty to the American middle class structure. It’s the strongest and most important portion of the economic pyramid.

The demographic that did unskilled, low wage jobs were the very young, or those who hadn’t or couldn’t gain skills into college level, but stayed at the trade level.

These were young people who didn’t need benefits because they were still under the umbrella of their parents. A workable situation.

Now, the demographic has changed to extremely dependent people with less skills, and will to get to another level. And who feel no obligation to be literate in English, or assimilate to our cultural standards.
And there are TOO MANY OF THEM.

It’s also not racist to point out the rather obvious fact that it’s millions and millions of people and we can’t take all of them in.
Top and bottom have abused our system, and there never was any excuse to.

We just get told the same stupid, insulting things by elected officials from the top down, while all around us the dangerous reality threatens to overwhelm everything.

John in the Bay Area
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Regan,

In your last post, you demonstrate the contradiction of this law that is inescapable. Early in your post, you state emphatically that people cannot be stopped on the basis of ethnicity alone. Then at the end of your post, you say that if your ethnicity gets you stopped more than others, that’s the breaks. Even while defending the law, you are acknowledging that American citizens of some ethnic group will be disproportionately affected. That just won’t stand legal muster.

Immigration laws should be enforced. Illegal aliens (particularly gang members and other felons) should be deported, but American citizens should not be treated differently on the basis of their skin color or ethnic backround.

By dividing ourselves along racial lines and making some ethnic groups more subject to citizenship check stops, we risk doing tremendous damage to our society that could take decades, if not centuries to recover from. We have done it before, so we can’t pretend that we don’t know how this plays out. Also, remember that Hispanics are the fastest growing group of AMERICAN CITIZENS in the country.

Jim Burroway
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Regan,

That clause, as Sheriff Dupnik so accurately pointed out, is a fig leaf. It’s the same kind of fig leaf as the prohibition against sex with minors that the Ugandans put into their Anti-Homosexuality Bill so they could try to claim that their bill has nothing to do with killing gay people but with protecting children.

Here is where I get to tell you the taillight story.

In the mid 1990’s when I lived in Dallas I had heard of racial profiling. I, of course, had never experienced it and had my doubts. There were, at that time, several allegations of racial profiling in the Dallas exclusive enclave of Highland Park and in neighboring Rockwall County.

A young African-American man who worked for me at the time (I’ll call him Tyler). He was from East Texas, and traveled back often to visit family. Because of the lakes around East Dallas, the only way to get there was to go through Rockwall County, but it was a drive that he soon grew to dread.

His first trip back home, he got a speeding ticket: 5 mph over the speed limit. Getting a ticket for 5 over at that time was unheard of, but hey, he was speeding, so he didn’t think too much of it.

His second trip back home, he got another ticket. This one was for 2 mph over the speed limit. That was starting to look suspicious.

Now having gotten two tickets in a row in Rockwall County, he came to understand that stretch of the interstate as a speed trap. So his third trip back home, he was actually going slower than the speed limit. He got pulled over. When he asked what the problem was, the officer said his brakelight was out. He looked into the rear-view mirror, tapped his brakes, and saw three distinct red patterns reflecting off the chrome grill of cruiser. “My lights are working,” he said. The officer said no they weren’t and he must have a short. The officer also took his license and called it in, held him for a while and let him go.

Of course, there never was an electric short with his brakelights.

His getting pulled over in Rockwall County didn’t end with that incident. Over the course of the next few years, he often was pulled over in Rockwall County for no good reason, but a lot of made up reasons. Of course, his Blackness was never one of them.

Mind you, this guy, at the time, held an advanced security clearance. His character was impeckable and I have no reason to disbelieve him. And knowing him as I did, I woke to the reality of racial profiling.

That clause excempting ethnicity as a legitimate excuse is nothing but a fig leaf. As Sheriff Dupnik pointed out, no one is ever singled out becaue of ethnicity. Not officially. But really now, let’s not fool ourselves.

Jim Burroway
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Regan, you raise a good point. When Janet Napolitano was governor, she tried to get the state legislature several times to impose sanctions on businesses who hire undocumented workers. They balked every time. And guess what? That’s not in this bill either. Bad for business, they said. Too much government regulation, they said.

But encouraging racial profiling, that’s perfectly alright.

As for the rest of your comment, I’ll not address it, since you think, against everything that I’ve written, that I want the entire world to move to the US. I’ll address criticisms of what I’ve actually written, but I won’t address strawmen arguments.

Timothy Kincaid
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Jim,

I don’t necessarily think that we must do this or do nothing. But I do believe that if we do nothing, we will get this.

You’ll recall I lamented earlier that the 2007 bill died because immigrants rights groups want absolutely no restrictions and because conservatives demanded absolutely no ‘reward’ for entering illegally. So we have this, instead.

And we can object to it… but until the problem is admitted, no one will be listening and I can’t blame them.

I appreciate the comparison to HIV transmission. But, unlike the immigration situation, our community actually did own up. We insisted on constant safe-sex messages. We voluntarily closed some establishments. We shunned condom-less porn. We, as a community, stepped up with our own efforts to do something.

And because we did, it diffused much of the criticism. We went to the government and said, “help us get out the message. Help us with testing and condoms and advertising.” So those in power could actually take action that we all to some extent agreed upon (except, of course, those like Jesse Helms).

Calls for quarantine and branding could be ignored – and ignored by relatively conservative politicians – because we owned up. We lobbied for Ryan White and got it with bipartisan support – because we were trying to do something.

Politicians weren’t in a situation of frustration with nothing being done and us denying that there was a problem.

And, to be honest, it may be time for us to do this again soon. We may need to recognize that the safe-sex message needs some retooling because HIV may be back on the rise. Or, as infection demographics shift, it may be time to partner with black churches or other African American outreaches to work together.

But my point is that we did something. So we were not just subject to the whim of outsiders.

But I am frustrated that immigrant advocates seem unwilling to do anything to address the problem. Perhaps it’s just the absence of an effective message, but I don’t hear solutions, only excuses and objections and accusations from them.

Where is the solution to Mexican drug wars that MECHA supports? Where is their answer to having borders that are secure and through which pass only those who are known to both sides?

This may not be a great law. But I’m not yet convinced that it is as draconian as you see it to be. The language of the law doesn’t seem to do what you fear, though I’m not an Arizonan and don’t know the subtleties of local politics.

But if the answer remains “do nothing” or “do something some other day” then this is what Arizona is going to get. And really, really…. it’s hard to blame someone for taking what they see to be a solution when that’s the only item on the table.

Timothy Kincaid
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Regan,

The demographic that did unskilled, low wage jobs were the very young, or those who hadn’t or couldn’t gain skills into college level, but stayed at the trade level.

My grandparents were migrant farm workers.

And you are completely correct that businesses should be subjected to penalty. Or better yet, how about a “guest worker tax” that just so happens to equal the difference between what a company would have had to pay to a legal worker (with benefits) and what they paid an undocumented worker instead… times ten.

Make it an economic disadvantage – a real one – and it will stop.

Regan DuCasse
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Matt, I guess it’s important that we all drive carefully, isn’t it?

I could be very flip and give an answer like this, but your question wasn’t worthy of a serious answer.

Jim, a person who breached our immigration laws already has committed a serious infraction, and their motives for doing so, does damage to trust and displaces those with who had a legitimate track into this country.

A gay person doesn’t break trust, displace anyone, nor breach trust.

Conflating ILLEGAL activity from illegal immigrants with being gay isn’t a good analogy.
I know that being gay was once illegal, so was free association and the assumptions of what gay people do in the company of each other.

Yet, such activity didn’t compromise the order of whatever society the gay person lived in. Gay people congregating or just BEING gay, has no consequence to anyone.
Gay people are persecuted or denied equality NO MATTER how law abiding, contributing and gay people are denied being OPEN about it on condition of being punished.
Gay people are punished for DOING GOOD for society and helping society know who they are.
And the population of gay people doesn’t overwhelm, or threaten to, every system of infrastructure, language and security necessary for our country to function well.

Not so with illegal immigrants. And the illegal immigrant population can just keep growing and growing so that there are less and less resources for legal residents.

I understand your feeling solidarity, but I think it’s misplaced.

Jim Burroway
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Regan,

I have yet to hear you acknowledge that the people in Guadalupe also did nothing to breach the law.

And that is my ENTIRE POINT.

So, since I can’t make you acknowledge that this law targest law will impact abiding Americans far more than the illigal immigrants it happens to come in contact with, I’m afraid we’re at an impasse.

Love you still no matter what though. :-)

Jim Burroway
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Timothy,

Speaking of impasses… ;-)

I know we can come up with a lot of good reasons why the analogy doesn’t work, but that’s us talking among each other and raising a legitimate defense among ourselves. But no matter how much we talk, the LaBarberas and Thompssons and Livelys of the world won’t buy it and continue to push their arguments (in this example, the indisutable AIDS data) against us.

But even if we didn’t step up and accept repsonsibility. So what? Since when are my rights conditional on someone else’s behavior?

And that is the point, and the principle I’m trying to uphold, because that principle is the very foundation of our law. There is no such thing as collective guilt. And one person’s rights under the law are not conditinal on another person’s behavior. This is the moral imperative in our battle for equal rights in the LGBT community. I’m not going to water down that very same moral imperative when it comes to someone’s rights as citizens in this country.

JJQR
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

This whole thing would never have come up if Obama and the Feds had done something about the problem like they’d promised too. (I guess we gays aren’t the only ones they lie to).

Timothy Kincaid
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Regan,

I’m not sure that I can go with you on the idea that crossing the border is a crime that says much about the intrinsic honesty or character of the immigrant. If our government doesn’t take that law seriously, how can we expect others to consider it a major crime.

I don’t blame them for coming here and I can’t much fault them for coming in the same way that millions of others have.

My first American immigrant ancestors came here before the first immigration laws (and other ancestors were already here). The last to straggle over was my great-grandfather in 1876.

None of my ancestors stood in line or met a quota or filled out paperwork at Ellis Island or had to do much of anything. They just came here. So it would be a bit disingenuous of me to think that doing exactly the same is somehow less admirable.

Jim Burroway
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Burr,

Being asked to identify yourself isn’t un Constitutional.

Hmm.. I dunno about that..

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0443_0047_ZS.html

Wow. Great find!

John
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

John–no, that last one is not a joke. If I had a time machine, I’d probably go back and give the Natives machine guns.

It wouldn’t have done them much good. Once they came into contact with the first Europeans most of them were doomed from something far more deadly than machine guns: disease. Europeans, Africans and Asians had traded diseases among each other for centuries that Native Amercians hadn’t encountered before and thus had no resistance to. Most were wiped out by disease, some in the interior even having never encountered the white man. The survivors had a small window of opportunity to stop European settlement but even with machine guns this wouldn’t have ended their inter-tribal warfare. The inability of the Native Americans to put aside their differences and join together to push out the white man helped seal their fate. By the time they did form alliances it was too late.

Timothy Kincaid
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Jim

I don’t think we are going to come to agreement.

You are concerned about collective guilt, I am annoyed by collective complicity. You want to protect the rights of the Hispanic American, I want the Hispanic American to join in being part of the solution and not become the problem.

It’s a matter of perspective that we don’t seem to be able to get over.

But I think that is what makes this website stronger. We are not an echo chamber of platitudes and unchallenged presumptions. We aren’t just some “leftist gay blog” but are diverse in our views.

Mark F.
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

OK, here’s how I see things: we should get serious about enforcing our immigration laws without violating the rights of legal residents (we don’t need to imprison anyone, just start sending illegal immigrants back home and make it difficult for them to keep a job here), but we should also liberalize our laws to make it easier to immigrate to this country. We should eliminate most public welfare benefits to non-citizens. We should not grant amnesty to those already here illegally as that is not fair to those people who have not violated the law. Automatic citizenship should not be extended to children of non-citizens born in the United States.

The other option (one which libertarians would support) is to basically have open borders and let anyone into the United States aside from known criminals. But be prepared for an influx of tens of millions of people.

And, as others have pointed out, Mexico has very tough immigration laws. The hypocrisy from Mexico City and many Mexicans is astounding.

Burr
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

Obama takes immigration reform off agenda

Well so much for this law pushing the federal government to do something. That’s a downright shame no matter where you stand. Then again, the stuff they were considering didn’t sound great.

Mark F.
April 29th, 2010 | LINK

No way was Obama gonna touch this issue in an election year. He’s not that dumb.

Regan DuCasse
April 30th, 2010 | LINK

Jim, it’s not that I didn’t want to acknowledge what happened at Guadelupe, it’s just that I only have so much time to address things here.

I will acknowledge that it happened. I will acknowledge that miscalculations, or mishandling or misconduct by law enforcement has happened.

I acknowledge also, the 1979 case you gave a link to above.

1979. A lifetime ago, and I would wonder why a man being seen in that manner, wouldn’t just say who he was and be done with it.
Getting belligerent or defiant with police is a guarantee you’re going to make trouble for yourself, however innocent you might be of anything suspicious.
A police officer HAS to inquire, IF only to satisfy his own curiosity. He might be wrong, but he HAS to investigate, just in case.

Being ASKED about who he was, wasn’t unreasonable for a policemen to do to that man.
Expecting that you don’t look MORE suspicious when you respond that way, isn’t.

Anyway…
I don’t appreciate being called racist, or of the ‘I got mine, now forget about you’ mentality expressed here.
And Matt in NYC was right that NO ONE HERE called the AZ police Nazis (and I didn’t say anyone here did), but that IS the accusation being thrown out in OTHER public forums and in OTHER general discussions of this topic.

I’ve been called names here already, and only because these people don’t know me, will that stupid charge be forgiven and forgotten.
And yes, it’s VERY stupid to call me selfish for not feeling guilty enough for a few people’s tastes to forget about the utter lawlessness, chaos and damage that illegal immigration causes.

But understand this EVERYBODY: I have to spend my days and nights patrolling, attending to incidents that invariably will involve illegal aliens of all kinds of backgrounds.
And I’m dealing directly with the horrible results of illegal immigration.
And it’s the dedication of law enforcement and the risks to their lives that are barely keeping a lid on this very overwhelming and serious problem.

Jim, law enforcement isn’t perfect and never will be. Mistakes, some of them fatally terrible have been made when a peace officer miscalculates or oversteps his position.

But what I’m seeing here, is that no matter WHAT illegal aliens do, the police are supposed to not do anything, not be extra sharp in their observations, suspicions or attempts to detain someone who might be breaking the law.

If they are chilled into inaction, then that only lessens their ability to function effectively.
And more and more lawlessness will ensue.

The American citizens that you are concerned about are taking a passive aggressive attitude about this whole issue.
YOU didn’t acknowledge how proactive they could be in reducing mistakes by peace officers.
YOU didn’t acknowledge that there is an opportunity now for cooperation, instead of complaint.

Whenever mistakes are made, you know that the LAPD anyway, investigates and works to rectify it so there is no repeat of it.
But if the police are TOO lacking in response, THEY end up getting killed.

The Latin American smugglers, are especially ruthless and brutal.
This spills over into all manner of turf wars, and RACE wars.
Blacks were being murdered in Highland Park, specifically targeted for being black.
The Latino population is breaking trust because some ARE in accord with illegal immigration, and their numbers are huge enough to overwhelm economic and political demographics.
That is to say, there is an unfair advantage there because SOME have cheated the immigration system, and amnesty would literally and UNFAIRLY give political advantage to people who cheated to get it.

Well of COURSE white supremacists would exploit this, they will jump on any political issue that isn’t about straight, white, Christian heterosexual males.

That still doesn’t mean that illegal aliens aren’t doing something VERY wrong, and creating major imbalance in our ability to assimilate or accommodate them.

YOU didn’t acknowledge that this doesn’t have to be about Latinos, but about the numbers of people that no amount of streamlining of the immigration system will satisfy.

Our country can’t take them all in, can’t afford it, and especially can’t afford to show a world full of terrorists at war with us how easy it is to game and cheat the system of entry.

Collective guilt and dismissing the brutal agendas out there, isn’t smart and many, MANY legal citizens suspect.

It’s not the system of laws that do that, but illegal aliens who could give a crap about laws and aren’t hampered by them in the least.

Regan DuCasse
April 30th, 2010 | LINK

Oops, typo.
I want that to read: collective guilt and dismissing brutal agendas out there isn’t smart and MAKES even legal citizens suspect.

Burr
April 30th, 2010 | LINK

1979. A lifetime ago, and I would wonder why a man being seen in that manner, wouldn’t just say who he was and be done with it.
Getting belligerent or defiant with police is a guarantee you’re going to make trouble for yourself, however innocent you might be of anything suspicious.
A police officer HAS to inquire, IF only to satisfy his own curiosity. He might be wrong, but he HAS to investigate, just in case.

Being ASKED about who he was, wasn’t unreasonable for a policemen to do to that man.
Expecting that you don’t look MORE suspicious when you respond that way, isn’t.

Give me a break.

What about the presumption of innocence? I shouldn’t have to constantly prove my legitimacy to every nosy officer that comes across me. Especially considering the time this occurred, what if this was an anti-gay cop with an axe to grind, and a list of known homosexuals he wanted to make miserable? I don’t owe the police anything unless they’ve got a valid reason to be interested. Simply existing in an area where there’s crime is not a valid reason.

Burr
April 30th, 2010 | LINK

Interesting.. I never thought this could have an effect on sports..

Baseball alarmed by Arizona immigration law

“Why would you bring your passport and visa with you?”

Currently, players don’t. One major league executive said his team’s director of minor league operations collects the passports of foreign players and keeps them in a safe at the team’s minor league facility. The policy is in place so the teenage players don’t lose the paperwork, which includes a P Visa that the government issues to “internationally recognized entertainers or athletes.”

It could have an impact on the All-Star game and reverse the trend of spring training moving to AZ.

Burr
April 30th, 2010 | LINK

Some more notes about the law..

More on the Arizona Law: Checking the Text

“Lawful contact” does not apply solely to law enforcement but to any “agency” of “the state, or a county, city, town or other political subdivision,” as enumerated in the law. If the drafters had wanted the law to apply only when a police officer had already come into contact with an individual because of a separate and distinct civil or criminal violation, they could have said so. If that had been their intent, they would have had no reason to include a provision for lawful contact by officials of all agencies of the state, county, local, and other political subdivisions. The list is all-inclusive because the law envisions officials from all public agencies — schools, hospitals, social services, etc. — having the right to demand proof of legal residence any time the official has “reasonable suspicion” that the person is an illegal immigrant.

So not only are we expanding police powers here, we’re extending police powers to people who are not law enforcement officers! That’s just dandy..

…as the Center for Equal Opportunity’s studies on racial preferences in college admissions have definitively shown, whenever race is taken into account — even as one of many factors — it always becomes the deciding factor. And it will here as well. We conservatives can’t have it both ways: either we’re for race-neutral justice or we’re not. We can’t be against using race when it helps minorities but for it when it harms them — at least not without legitimate criticism as to our motives.

Insightful juxtaposition.

Donnchadh
April 30th, 2010 | LINK

Regan, you keep talking about the terrible consequences of illegal immigration but you haven’t given any examples of harm, much less statistical evidence.
You mention smugglers. As long as everyone entering the country to work is tarred as a criminal, how can the police focus resources on such genuinely harmful activities?
As I have said before, the 27 countries of the European Union allow free travel between them. It has done us no harm. As Polish immigrants have left agriculture labour for services, the farmers are complaining of having to pay too much.

Jason D
April 30th, 2010 | LINK

“And you are completely correct that businesses should be subjected to penalty. Or better yet, how about a “guest worker tax” that just so happens to equal the difference between what a company would have had to pay to a legal worker (with benefits) and what they paid an undocumented worker instead… times ten.

Make it an economic disadvantage – a real one – and it will stop.”

Hell, I say go beyond that. More than x number of illegal workers on a random spot check and your business license is revoked. I say x number because 1 or two might be clever cons or mistakes. If you’re a business of one person, heavy heavy fine instead. Put people out of business who hire illegals. Hell, give tax CREDITS to businesses that can prove all their workers are legal citizens or documented legal aliens.

Why not make part of getting a credit check proving your citizen status? And then require all utilites (water, gas, cable, telephone, internet, electricity, etc) and landlords to run this check? Heavy fines for noncompliance.

There are all kinds of regulatory agencies surrounding business, why not add citizen status checks as part of their regulatory responsibilities?

Timothy, this is just plain insane

” And really, really…. it’s hard to blame someone for taking what they see to be a solution when that’s the only item on the table.”

You sit at a different table!
I’m now concerned for your safety Tim. I hope you’re never faced with the prospect of thirst and someone has just cleaned with bleach and left the bottle on the table.

All joking aside I really question the mental state of someone who says “this is the only idea, so lets run with it.” Ideas, actions, should be considered on MERIT not on how many other options there are. That’s a rationalization, and a poor one. It’s often the excuse people give for horrible, and completely stupid actions, a way of avoiding responsibility “it’s the only idea anyone came up with!”

As I have mentioned before, this problem didn’t happen overnight and it’s not going to be solved overnight. The rational, CONSTITUTIONAL, fair way to handle this is going to take time. In our why-does-my-microwave-popcorn-take-so-long society, that’s hard to grasp, but it’s important. This Quick Fix strategies are ALWAYS A BAD idea and almost certain to make the problem worse, or create new and more interesting problems.

Amii
April 30th, 2010 | LINK

Regan,

I believe this legislation is unconstitutional for reasons already outlined by others, but I don’t want to debate that with you.

Apologies if I am wrong in assuming that you do something akin to a street patrol. If correct, from that perspective, don’t you see a problem that this legislation only punishes illegal aliens, and not the employers that hire them? How can the tide be stopped when there is always work to be found?

One thing that I haven’t seen mentioned in any detail is the provision of forced enforcement. Look at this portion of the enforcement changes:

13 ARTICLE 8. ENFORCEMENT OF IMMIGRATION LAWS
14 11-1051. Cooperation and assistance in enforcement of
15 immigration laws; indemnification
27 I. A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER IS INDEMNIFIED BY THE LAW ENFORCEMENT
28 OFFICER’S AGENCY AGAINST REASONABLE COSTS AND EXPENSES, INCLUDING ATTORNEY
29 FEES, INCURRED BY THE OFFICER IN CONNECTION WITH ANY ACTION, SUIT OR
30 PROCEEDING BROUGHT PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION TO WHICH THE OFFICER MAY BE A
31 PARTY BY REASON OF THE OFFICER BEING OR HAVING BEEN A MEMBER OF THE LAW
32 ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, EXCEPT IN RELATION TO MATTERS IN WHICH THE OFFICER IS
33 ADJUDGED TO HAVE ACTED IN BAD FAITH.

What would be considered bad faith on the part of an officer? Does it mean he is only in danger of losing personal assets if following a higher up’s policy of non-enforcement? Does it mean not verifying citizenship of the guy on his beat that he sees every day for the last 8 years that he knows is illegal? Can one act of kindness cost him his home?

I’m finding myself unable to properly convey how wrong-headed this is to me. If this is acceptable to you or I’ve missed some crucial point (total layperson in all things legal) please explain. Without the intent of the bad faith clause defined, I would never be an officer in AZ. Thanks in advance.

Ben Mathis
May 3rd, 2010 | LINK

Sometimes I’m ashamed to have so many privileged racist white people on the same side of the gay rights debate as myself. How anyone can want equality for themselves and be so filled with hate (and deluding themselves while doing it) is beyond me.

This law is racist, and anyone supporting it is a racist. Doesn’t get much simpler than that, and all your hand waving and multi-paragraph apologism isn’t gonna change what horrible human beings you are.

L. C. Burgundy
May 9th, 2010 | LINK

So, Jim, did you actually read the bill? Because I don’t think you did. Most of your fears are unwarranted and this whole situation has been so incredibly overblown by the media it’s almost laughable, as if a new Kristallnacht is about to christened.

What is your response to Jan Brewer?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLgZ1LWLlko

I’m guessing you don’t have one, or that your response is about as lame as the President’s, because you have said as much that you want enforcement, but don’t have anything to really suggest and now that you have more enforcement, you’re up in arms about it. This is the same silly hand wringing that’s been going on in Washington for about 20 years now. The Federal government obviously doesn’t have a solution, and it’s equally obvious that neither do you.

Jim Burroway
May 10th, 2010 | LINK

Burgundy,

My responses are all encapsulated above. There is nothing new here. Racially profiling American Citizens who look brown does nothing to stop illegal immigration. Brewer’s contention that the law bans racial profiling is laughable in its face, as several law enforcement agencies and the cities of Tucson and Flagstaff have noted.

I live in southern Arizona, less than 60 miles from the border. I am very well aware of the issues and problems. When Brewer calls it terrorism, well, I think that speaks to all her credibility as much as anything else. Yes, we have problems brought about by illegal immigration and it would be foolish to pretend otherwise. But we are not under a terrorist’s siege as the teapartier wing would have you believe. Believe it or not, we drive darkened highways at night, we walk the streets after dark, and as I said: the most prominent murders of US citizens in Southern Arizona connected with the illegal immigration controversy was a family of US citizens whose home was invaded by self-styled minutemen militia members.

I thought this was a good observation. Click through and check out the graphs.

In 1970, Europeans still made up 60 percent of all immigrants; now their proportion is down to 13 percent. And it isn’t just Mexicans who have increased their share of the immigrant population, it’s also Asians, Africans, and, well, pretty much everyone but Europeans (and Canadians — their share is down as well).

Among the many effects of these changing patterns is that if you’re a white person, most immigrants used to look like you, but now they don’t, which could certainly heighten the perception that you’re country is being “taken” from you, and you want it back.

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