Saturday, April 24, 2010

Arizona's New Immigration Bill

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed the toughest illegal Arizonaimmigration bill in the country on Friday. This southeast state shares a border with Mexico and has had a difficult immigration problem for decades. The bill, which has unleashed a storm of protests and a criticism by President Obama, would make it a crime not to carry immigration documents. It also gives the police broad power to hold anyone suspected of being in the country illegally.  Critics have complained that it would open the door to wholesale harassment and discrimination of Hispanics by police.

The question is:  what kind of criteria would the police use as a basis for suspicion? It requires police officers “when practicable” to detain people they reasonably suspect are in the country without authorization and to verify their status with federal officials, unless doing so would hinder an investigation or emergency medical treatment.


  1. oh well its the right of the state to protect their country from illegal aliens

  2. Of course, you are correct. My major complaint is the vagueness of the bill, not the intention. How would your average police worker determine the level of suspicion? By the color of the skin or the level of the language? Would it, realistically be used against ALL illegal aliens, such a Canadians or British, or would be be used only against the Hispanic minority? If police cannot be given a set rules of suspicious behavior, then it will probably be directed against only one minority group- whether legal or illegal.

    In my own case, living in Oklahoma, one time, I was stopped while walking at night. It was after midnight. but it was not illegal to be out at night. I was asked a lot of questions and made to wait in the back of a police car as if I were a criminal, while they studied my ID. I had not been drinking or taking drugs. I do not as far as I know have a criminal record. And the area was a quiet residential area, with only the occasional number of petty crimes. Still, they seemed quite upset when they found nothing amiss and told me to go to my home "for my own protection." I am white, so I can not begin to imagine what it would have been like if I had been black or Hispanic.
    In any case, thanks for your comment and welcome to my blog. Hope you will be a permanent follower!

  3. I used to go to high school with this stupid girl named Marnie whose father, at the time, was running for governor of Arizona (he didn't win). In addition to her annoying habit of always turning her head upside down to shake out and tease her hair, she once asked in biology class if Black people and White people could make babies together. Apparently she was unaware we are the same species.

    Arizona didn't accept Martin Luther King Day until 1992. The only thing that surprises me is that Texas didn't get around to this first.

  4. Stranger, I can only assume Obama came as a mighty shock to poor Marnie.

    Oklahoma was like that too. My own brother and sister-in-law did not allow their children to study Native American cultures because they thought it would give them the "wrong" idea.
    Cincinnati was hardly much better than Oklahoma in terms of police state tactics. Only in Ohio there was slightly less Jesus involved.

  5. I have not heard anyone complain about being stopped everyday by the Border Patrol and asked if you are a citizen, even if you go through that some check point everyday going to work. What is the difference ? If you are legally in this country, no problem. If you are here illegally, turn around and go back to where you came from.

  6. With respect, the conditions at any border are not the same as conditions inside any country. I believe I have stated my objections to this proposed law.
    However, I have heard your argument before: If I am not doing anything wrong then why should I worry. This is not the way laws in the US operate. Please educate yourself about your liberties in a free society. Law enforcement should have probable cause to detain individuals and that suspicion should be based on measurable criteria. "I don't like the looks of that sort" is not the way we wish to run our law enforcement. Criteria shouldn't be based on the color of your skin or the clothes you wear or the way you speak the native language.

    It really doesn't matter- the law is unenforceable and unconstitutional.


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