Papers please.

How can people who bitch constantly about “big government” (and I readily admit I’m sometimes one of them) possibly be okay with a law that basically enacts a  Police State?:

Arizona’s governor has signed into law an immigration bill seen as one of the toughest in the US, despite strong criticism by President Barack Obama.

The bill signed by Governor Jan Brewer will require state police to question people about their immigration status if there is “reasonable suspicion”.

And yet it’s a Republican law and conservatives have “embraced” it.  I don’t get it — just add it to the long list of other phenomena that leave me blinking with unfathoming dumbness.

So “reasonable suspicion”, eh?  And what might make a cop reasonably suspicious of someone’s immigration status?  Probably not their shoes.

There’s no doubt that US immigration reform is needed yesterday if not sooner.  But a law that codifies racial profiling and expands police power to the “Papers Please” extent should be unacceptable to anyone regardless of political stripe — particularly those who supposedly want the government out of everyone’s face.

Or is it okay for the government to get in some peoples’ faces?  Well guess what — apart from the odious inherent racism in this new law, once the state is empowered to get in anyone’s face they seldom decide it’s a bad idea.  What usually happens is they decide it’s a pretty good idea, and might be helpful in other circumstances as well.  Does wearing a tie-dyed T-shirt provide “reasonable suspicion” that your house should be searched for drugs?

46 Responses to “Papers please.”


  1. 1 Brian Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    What people who complain about “big government” are complaining about is government growing bigger than is appropriate for government. It is anarchists who advocate no government — the anti-big-government crowd does not.

    Guarding the borders is a legitimate activity for the government. Those who immigrate outside the established channels make the government bigger, because of all the support they wind up needing. Identifying and deporting people who are in a country illegally reduces the size of government and reduces the crime rate. (When you are without official presence, and are at the end of your rope, crime becomes necessary. I am not saying that immigrants are criminals, I’m saying that those without resources naturally turn where ever they can.

    But this action in Arizona is enforcing the law, not establishing a police state. A police state is a situation where you have secret police who come and take people away in the night, and they are never heard from again. The police involved here are uniformed, and the individuals identified as being here illegally are processed in the light of day.

    Though it is rue that Obama opposed this law, legally, it is none of his business. The president has no official say on laws passed by states (and therefore really should say nothing about it). The citizens of Arizona are overwhelmingly in favor of this law, and that is who the Arizona legislature, and the Governor of Arizona represent and answer to.

    Really, I have to believe that if you don’t get it, you either aren’t paying attention, or you don’t want to get it (and I am pretty sure you pay attention).

    Republicans and conservatives are for reading the law as any contract would be read. The words have specific meaning, and even if the use of the words of the law drift over time, the meaning of the law is what those words meant at the time the law was written. Under this system, one with normal ability to read can figure out whether he is breaking the law or not.

    Liberals tend to be more in favor of applying the law in a fashion that shifts with the situation, and tend to read law’s word using the contemporary meanings of the words. Of course, in an environment like that, citizens can never really be sure whether they are breaking the law or not.

    There are several layers of authority establishing how a non-citizen may enter the US legally. Conservatives (by which I mean to exclude reactionaries) are for immigration when it is done in accordance with the law(s).

    But when people enter by means other than lawful, they interfere with individuals trying to enter legally (they “jump line,” so to speak).

    Statistics seem to bear out that the main thing illegal immigrants import is poverty. When they enter a particular sphere of the economy, wages there are depressed. As farm laborers, they bring down the pay in that field (sorry about the pun). When they work as hotel/motel maids and so on, they bring down the wages in that field.

    Additionally, they don’t pay taxes normally. Sometimes they use a fake SSN, in which case they pay into SocSec, but cannot claim benefits. That’s not fair to them, and it messes up the system. If they are working under the table, they don’t pay SocSec, nor income taxes. Consequently, the tax load is not spread as broadly.

    Conservatives tend to frown on people engaging in activities that harm others in this way.

        “And what might make a cop reasonably suspicious
        of someone’s immigration status?”

    Things like a driver’s license that appears forged. A picture on a driver’s license that does not look like the individual proffering it. Nervousness out of proportion to the situation. In answering questions, apparently not knowing how things are done (what the traffic laws are when asked things like “Do you know how fast you wer driving?” or “Is this car registered to you?”). Police get to be pretty good judges of what’s going on. Practically everyone they encounter shows some nervousness, so they expect that. But there is a point beyond which it is out of proportion.

    And those being asked only have to verify that the officer’s suspicions are incorrect, and it is a non-event.

    Police asking for ID and proof of being in the country legitimately is not “getting in their faces.” They could get in someone’s face doing that, or they can do that in a respectful, professional fashion. It is not automatic that they are in peoples’ faces.

    It does not have inherent racism. People from any country are subject to this (including Canadians, eh?), and no one who is in this country legally is deported or locked up.

    But we have a big problem here with people — mostly from Mexico — coming here illegally. Some are here to work, some are here as members of cartels distributing illegal drugs. We can no longer afford to keep treating this problem with hand-wringing angst. We need to treat it more firmly, while not violating peoples’ rights. There is a lot of room between those two extremes, and Arizona’s new law is a long way from either of those 2 rails.

    No, wearing a tie-dyed Tee-shirt does not constitute a reasonable cause, because it is so clear that one who does or does not use illegal drugs could be wearing one. It is much less likely that someone who does not use drugs will have a glass pipe hanging from their rear view mirror, as a glass pipe does not have such a diverse set of uses.

    This give them in inch they’ll take a kilometer concern is (IMHO) pretty misplaced. There are all manner of laws that go part way, but not to an extreme. It is kind of the nature of laws to do that.

  2. 2 Bleatmop Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    I thought about suggesting we start a pool to guess how long it’ll be before we get news stories of this law being abused used in the worst possible way. But then I thought that it’d be in pretty bad taste to bet on such a thing.

    One thing is certain though, this law brings the US into a dystopia that I though I’d only ever see in the movies. You have to admirebe in disgusted awe of the movie of the Arizona law makers to first “other” illegal immigrants and then use the “others” to form this evil law.

    “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    — Indeed

  3. 3 croghan27 Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Brian, JJ and Bleatmop have very valid points … had the ‘reasonable suspicion’ been defined – other than some cop stopping some one and tautologically deciding that no ID is suspicious, suspicion should be defined. JJ just illustrates that contradiction in musing that shoe style could be used.

    Without some valid definitions it is a grab bag for the local law&order bunch. A grab bag and an introduction to a police state – the Police are deciding what is ‘suspicious’ – not the legislatures.

  4. 4 Brian Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    I believe reasonable has a lot of precedence. Are you sure, by the way, that the law doesn’t define its terms? a lot of laws do that.

    I understand the concerns, but I think that they are unfounded (or perhaps better “not well-taken”). Though it might be a grab bag, I doubt that it will be. Just about all law under which people can be detained is couched in terms of reasonable suspicion and probable cause, but there is not rampant stopping of people out & about.

    I am quite sure, that if this law does get abused, the law will be revoked — and you just gotta know that there will be a lot of observers!

    I must say though, that this law is no more racist than the background racism that everyone knows inspires any disagreement with Obama.

    “Give me your tired, your poor …” is not law. That piece of rhetoric (by which I mean soaring words that inspire the heart) by Emma Lazarus was put onto the Statue of Liberty during a period when immigration laws were strictly enforced. It will still be true should our immigration laws be once again strictly enforced. It will be true for those who follow the law to come here. Enforcing the law in no-wise makes a sham of that. No country on earth treats legal immigrants better.

  5. 5 Frank Frink Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    I must say though, that this law is no more racist than the background racism that everyone knows inspires any disagreement with Obama.

    Ok, Brian. Tell me, what exactly does an illegal alien look like and what exactly is ‘looks suspicious’? I don’t see either actually defined within that bill.

    All I know, and it’s entirely too predictable, is that this is all going to end badly before it even gets to a court challenge on the basis of its unconstitutionality.

  6. 6 Brian Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    “Tell me, what exactly does an illegal alien look like?”

    EXACTLY! It covers ALL races!

    If you don’t know what “looks suspicious” looks like, you aren’t qualified to be a cop. But cops DO learn what to look for.

    A friend and I got caught on a stolen mini bike when I was 16. I held my own, but my friend “looked suspicious,” they said. So they let me go, and questioned him. (I am Norwegian/Welsh/English/Scottish, he was Italian.)

    Neither is defined in the bill, which really puts the whole “racist” thing to bed.

    I went and read the bill. Essentially all it does is make federal law also state law. It references federal law many, many times. Things have not “gone badly” with these federal laws in place, and I really don’t think it is going to go all that badly being paralleled into state law.

    How can it possibly be unconstitutional to enforce the law?

  7. 7 Frank Frink Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Gah! I really wish there was a preview option.

    “Tell me, what exactly does an illegal alien look like?”

    EXACTLY! It covers ALL races!

    I eagerly await the release of the first set of figures on the demographics who gets pulled over on ‘suspicion’.

    If you don’t know what “looks suspicious” looks like, you aren’t qualified to be a cop. But cops DO learn what to look for.

    I’m not naive about police or police work, Brian. I’ve actually been a civilian staff member of a P.D. in a major Canadian city. Law enforcement membership, like any other profession, includes bad and good, competent and incompetent.

    ‘Suspicion’ is a very relative term. Again, the bill doesn’t define the parameters of what constitutes ‘suspicious’. It’s left open to individual interpretation and quite open to potential abuse.

    Neither is defined in the bill, which really puts the whole “racist” thing to bed.

    No it doesn’t. It actually leaves it more open to ‘interpretation’ and the potential for abuse.

    Remember the ‘sus laws’ in the U.K., Brian? They were left open to interpretation the same. It wasn’t (supposedly) about race. That really worked out so well.

    Pardon me if I’m not enthusiastic or optimistic about how this will likely be applied.

    Essentially all it does is make federal law also state law.

    Which federal law is that, Brian? DHS-related stuff? again, pardon me if that doesn’t exactly warm the cockles of my heart. I’m not getting warm & fuzzies here.

    Brian, some of us here have been around a few blocks before. Quite possibly more blocks than you have and for quite probably quite a while longer. We’ve also seen a few ‘movies’ repeated over and over.

    I sense another rerun here.

  8. 8 Beowulf Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 6:15 am

    Seems to me this law is ripe for abuse. If a cop does not like your attitude and you have no ID he can say you “look suspicious”, throw your ass in jail and leave it to INS to tell him if you are legal or not.

    Seems to me any petty crook……..I mean petty cop….can end of controling you like a puppet on a string for his amusement.

    I for one would be more than a little upset with this kind of treatment that has no recourse. The ability of sueing the cop is not a possibility under the new law. Therefore the door is open to a petty tyrant with a shiny badge to do what ever they want for grins and giggles…….

  9. 9 Cornelius T. Zen Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Good morrow, all!
    Brian: Is it within the job description of the Arizona State Police to enforce a federal immigration law? If this new law is merely enforcing an existing law, what exactly makes this new law necessary? What criteria will be used to enact this law?
    “Though it is rue that Obama opposed this law, legally, it is none of his business. The president has no official say on laws passed by states (and therefore really should say nothing about it). The citizens of Arizona are overwhelmingly in favor of this law, and that is who the Arizona legislature, and the Governor of Arizona represent and answer to.”
    If it involves working with a federal agency, such as the INS, then the President is involved, since the INS ultimately reports to the President.
    Burn that cross in your own front yard, paleface – CTZen

  10. 10 JJ Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Brian

    Guarding the borders is a legitimate activity for the government.

    Sure is, but that is not what this law does. Maybe it’s Arizona’s way of lighting a fire under the feds to do more to guard the border, as well as bring in immigration reform.

    The problem is, it’s kind of hard to keep people from coming in illegally when there are “NOW HIRING” signs targeting potential illegals all along the US side of the border.

    A police state is a situation where you have secret police who come and take people away in the night, and they are never heard from again.

    That’s one extreme manifestation of a police state. Arizona is obviously not a “police state” in the context of the Soviet Union, but laws that give police the power to detain people at their own discretion (without probable cause) definitely tilt in that direction. That’s the kind of shit they used to do in the USSR — “Your papers please” — I would have thought conservatives would be aghast at it.

    Doesn’t your Fourth Amendment specifically protect you guys from this kind of abuse?

  11. 11 JJ Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Brian

    Things like a driver’s license that appears forged. A picture on a driver’s license that does not look like the individual proffering it.

    Sure, some cops, maybe even most cops, will operate within those kinds of parameters. But do you honestly believe that no cop is going to detain people just because they can? 😆 You trust them more than I do.

  12. 12 JJ Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 9:29 am

    bleatmop

    I thought about suggesting we start a pool to guess how long it’ll be before we get news stories of this law being abused used in the worst possible way.

    This law has abuse practically written right into it.

    I’m not that familiar with the US Constitution, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it violated more than one constitutional right. I guess we’ll find out the first time a Latino citizen is detained and takes their case to court.

  13. 13 JJ Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 9:31 am

    croghan

    Without some valid definitions it is a grab bag for the local law&order bunch. A grab bag and an introduction to a police state – the Police are deciding what is ‘suspicious’ – not the legislatures.

    Well put.

  14. 14 Paen Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Arizona was stolen from Mexico at gun point,so the real illegal immigrants are the squaters who don’t like having brown people around.

  15. 15 allison Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 10:13 am

    What constitutes proof of citizenship? A birth certificate? A passport? I never got a copy of my California birth certificate until I got married at 34 and didn’t get a passport until I was 40. Guess I would have been out of luck if stopped in AZ. Both of these things cost money and time to obtain, putting an unfair burden on the poorer population. Will a police officer only accept the original or will a photocopy do? What if the officer just “knows” the certificate is a fake? (just like those questioning the certificate of a certain black president.) Guess you are just out of luck.

    It is obvious that Arizona’s only option is to issue government ID based on citizenship or legal status. I would like to see the conservatives’ opinion on that.

  16. 16 Brian Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Gah! I really wish there was a preview option.

    AMEN! brother!

    Testing whether
    code tags work
    here

  17. 17 JJ Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    FF – Do you want me to nuke that extra comment?

    Sorry about the lack of preview… WordPress sucks that way. (And a few other ways too, but whatever.)

  18. 18 Brian Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I eagerly await the release of the 1st set of figures on the demographics who gets pulled over on “suspicion.”

    The law does not address pulling people over on suspicion. The laws in Arizona regarding traffic stops are unaltered.

     

    “Suspicion” is a very relative term. Again, the bill doesn’t define the parameters of what constitutes “suspicious.” It’s left open to individual interpretation and quite open to potential abuse.

    This, of course, is absolutely true, but it is not unique to this law. There are a lot of laws whose use rely on suspicion. The dance between legislatures, courts and law enforcement are constantly at play in moving the lines to promote law enforcement while protecting rights. There will always be contention here and potential for abuse. So I agree with that point, but feel that the systems in place exert significant influence on how that point plays out.

     

    Pardon me if I’m not enthusiastic or optimistic about how this will likely be applied.

    No need for that. Your concern is appropriate. I, too, am concerned. I am very anxious that LEOs exercise restraint. I have an approach/approach conflict. I want illegal immigration stopped entirely, and I want no one to be abused or treated wrong. I think this law will help, but that is definitely guarded optimism, at best.

     

    Which federal law is that, Brian? DHS-related stuff?

    Well, even if only that, that part of the US Code is still law…

    All US Code references in Arizona’s law are under:

    TITLE 8       - ALIENS AND NATIONALITY
    CHAPTER 12    - IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY
    SUBCHAPTER II - IMMIGRATION,

    They are:

    Part VII  - Registration of Aliens
    HEAD      - Sec. 1304. Forms for registration & fingerprinting

    Part VII  - Registration of Aliens
    HEAD      - Sec. 1306. Penalties

    Part VIII - General Penalty Provisions
    HEAD      - Sec. 1324. Bringing in and harboring certain aliens

    Part VIII - General Penalty Provisions
    HEAD      - Sec. 1329. Jurisdiction of district courts

    Part IX   - Miscellaneous
    HEAD      - Sec. 1373. Communication between government agencies and the [INS]

  19. 19 Brian Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Seems to me this law is ripe for abuse. If a cop does not like your attitude and you have no ID he can say you “look suspicious”, throw your ass in jail and leave it to INS to tell him if you are legal or not.

    Seems to me any petty crook……..I mean petty cop….can end of controling you like a puppet on a string for his amusement

    Absolutely true. I have been the recipient of just the kind of abuse you are decribing, in Seattle, as a White Anglo-Saxon Atheist (I have beconme a believer since) on 5 ocasions that I can think of just off the top of my head. (One incident led to my friend needing to be hospitalized.) No profiling, just thug cops.

     

    The ability of sueing the cop is not a possibility under the new law.

    I am certain that that part would be deemed unconstitutional, and voided, if your understanding is accurate.

    I went & checked, and found this on page 2 of the new law (with some abbreviation by me):


    27         I.A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER IS INDEMNIFIED BY THE LAW ENFORCEMENT
    28 OFFICER'S AGENCY AGAINST REASONABLE COSTS & EXPENSES, INCLUDING ATTY
    29 FEES, INCURRED BY THE LEO IN CONNECTION WITH ANY ACTION, SUIT OR
    30 PROCEEDING BROUGHT PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION TO WHICH THE LEO MAY BE A
    31 PARTY BY REASON OF THE LEO BEING OR HAVING BEEN A MEMBER OF THE LAW
    32 ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, EXCEPT IN RELATION TO MATTERS IN WHICH THE LEO IS
    33 ADJUDGED TO HAVE ACTED IN BAD FAITH.

    That seems reasonable to me. It doesn’t indemnify the police force, only the officer carrying out what he understands to be his job.

     

    Therefore the door is open to a petty tyrant with a shiny badge to do what ever they want for grins and giggles…

    The bad faith stipulation (lines 32 & 33, above) makes that assessment incorrect.

  20. 20 Brian Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Is it within the job description of the Arizona State Police to enforce a federal immigration law?

    No, which is why the Arizona legislature duplicated the stipulations of the federal law in AZ law. That was the reason they did this, to bring local law enforcement agencies into scope.

     

    If this new law is merely enforcing an existing law, what exactly makes this new law necessary?

    Bringing local LEOs into scope.

     

    What criteria will be used to enact this law?

    I am not sure what you mean by criteria. The mechanism being used is the state legislature, the governor & local law enforcement agencies.

     

    If it involves working with a federal agency, such as the INS, then the President is involved, since the INS ultimately reports to the President.

    I don’t agree. He is legitimately involved in determining how INS, et al., operate on their end, but it is not appropriate for him to involve himself in what is a state matter — officially. Calling the governor on the phone, privately, would be a different matter. In the same way, I think it is an arrogation for state legislatures to hold votes on national issues and foreign policy.

    It is appropriate for them to hold votes on things like investing state money in nations with systems like apartheid. That is state money, and therefore a state issue.

  21. 21 Brian Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    [Guarding the borders is a legitimate activity for the government.]
    Sure is, but that is not what this law does.

    True enough.

     

    The problem is, it’s kind of hard to keep people from coming in illegally when there are “NOW HIRING” signs targeting potential illegals all along the US side of the border.

    Well, yes. But this law, in part, makes that illegal in Arizona. Seems a good step.

     

    [A police state is a situation where you have secret police who come and take people away in the night, and they are never heard from again.]
    That’s one extreme manifestation of a police state.

    Compact OED: a totalitarian state in which political police secretly supervise and control citizens’ activities.

    Amer. Heritage Dict. of the Eng. Lang.: A state in which the government exercises rigid and repressive controls over the social, economic, and political life of the people, especially by means of a secret police force.

    Merriam-Webster online: a political unit characterized by repressive governmental control of political, economic, and social life usually by an arbitrary exercise of power by police and especially secret police in place of regular operation of administrative and judicial organs of the government according to publicly known legal procedures.

    Granted, the term is often used with a less severe meaning, but the term is often used in an inflammatory way to link less-than-police-state environments with the connotation that “police state” carries, owing to definitions like those above.

     

    Doesn’t your Fourth Amendment specifically protect you guys from this kind of abuse?

    It protects against unreasonable search & seizure. There is a lot of precedence on exactly what that means, and all of that precedence would apply to Arizona’s new law.

    Conservatives are against unreasonable search & seizure, but they’re also against individuals who break the law finding shelter from legitimate prosecution through the use of the law. Conservatives are not for lawlessness, as I’m sure you know. I am pretty sure you, too, are against lawlessness; I don’t mean to draw a contrast with that statement about conservatives.

  22. 22 Brian Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    But do you honestly believe that no cop is going to detain people just because they can?

    No, of course not. We absolutely need to maintain the Internal Affairs division, and the court system that punishes cops who violate their trust.

    croghan

        Without some valid definitions it is a grab bag
        for the local law&order bunch. A grab bag and an
        introduction to a police state – the Police are
        deciding what is ‘suspicious’ – not the legislatures.

    Well put.

    Well put, but not exactly representative, as I understand it.

    It has always been the case that legislatures specify what “suspicious” means, LEOs implement that legislation, and courts decide whether either the legislature or the LEOs erred. That’ll still be the case under this new law — that system has not been changed or modified.

  23. 23 Frank Frink Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    JJ, yes. Please nuke the first comment.

    Shorter Brian: I defend and support laws that allow police to stop, arrest and detain citizens without proper cause.

    Good to know.

  24. 24 Brian Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Arizona was stolen from Mexico at gun point,so the real illegal immigrants are the squatters who don’t like having brown people around.

    Nice revisionism. As I recall, the Mexicans were shooting back. That sounds more like a war than a robbery at gunpoint, to me…

  25. 25 Brian Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    What constitutes proof of citizenship?

    Well, the law (in general, not just the law in question) has a lot of stipulations covering just that.
    But this new law does not require showing proof of citizenship, only proof that it is legal to be here. That might be a distinction without a difference, but it >i>is what the law actually says.

     

    Both of these things cost money and time to obtain, putting an unfair burden on the poorer population.

    A burden to be sure, but not an unfair burden. The poor, just like the rich, need to get a driver’s license and insurance before they can drive (for example). This puts more of a burden on the poor than the rich, but it is not an unfair one. It is a burden to be poor, but not an unfair one.

     

    Will a police officer only accept the original or will a photocopy do?

    This is the sort of thing that is already covered by law.

    It is obvious that Arizona’s only option is to issue government ID based on citizenship or legal status.

    I’m afraid it isn’t obvious to me. No documentation requirements have been changed by this new law.

  26. 26 Brian Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Shorter Brian: I defend & support laws that allow police to stop, arrest & detain citizens without proper cause.
    Good to know.

    Inasmuch as that is the opposite of what I’ve been saying, perhaps I now understand better why Arizona’s new law bothers you so much. It would appear that it’s something like that, when cops stop someone — virtually anyone — they’re really just abusing the citizenry.

    For example, if they see someone weaving in their lane while driving, just how much weaving is “too much” weaving? It’s entirely up to the officer to decide, making it ripe for abuse, and anyone who is for it is for allowing police to stop people without proper cause. You simply don’t trust police officers to use judgment.

    Good to know.

  27. 27 allison Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    But this new law does not require showing proof of citizenship, only proof that it is legal to be here. That might be a distinction without a difference, but it >i>is what the law actually says.

    And what does the law say is appropriate proof that it is legal to be here? Seriously, I have family in Arizona and I want to know if I will need to always carry my passport on me when I am there.

    The poor, just like the rich, need to get a driver’s license and insurance before they can drive (for example).

    So we are comparing the privilege of driving and having the money to own a car to the right to residence? One thing is not like the other.

  28. 28 Frank Frink Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    For example, if they see someone weaving in their lane while driving, just how much weaving is “too much” weaving? It’s entirely up to the officer to decide, making it ripe for abuse, and anyone who is for it is for allowing police to stop people without proper cause. You simply don’t trust police officers to use judgment.

    Good to know.

    Nice attempt at deflection, Brain. Epic FAIL.

    What you’ve given me there, Brian, is an example of proper cause. I have no problem with proper cause.

    Now, can you address the issue that the new Arizona bill does NOT define what constitutes proper cause? Although I fully expect and predict another deflection.

    Like Allison I also have relatives in Arizona. I don’t expect I’ll be visiting anytime soon.

  29. 29 Brian Sunday, April 25, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    And what does the law say is appropriate proof that it is legal to be here?

    I’m sure it does. The law tells us what is appropriate documentation for an IRS I-9 form showing the legal right to work, after all. Legislators cover these sorts of things.

    From the I9:
    Documents that establish Identity and Employment Authorization:
    US Passport or US Passport card
    Perm, Res. Card or form I551
    Foreign P-Port with temp. I551
    Form I 766

    Doc.s Establish Identity
    Driver’s Lic.
    ID Card
    School ID with photo
    Voter Reg. Card
    US Military ID

    And on and on. They have this established, codified.

    Seriously,…

    I’m skeptical.

    I have family in Arizona and I want to know if I will need to always carry my passport on me when I am there.

    If you feel like averting your eyes every time you see a cop, or quickly turning your back like you’re hiding, then probably so.

    So we are comparing the privilege of driving and having the money to own a car to the right to residence? One thing is not like the other.

    Is it possible that you are that thick? You’re not really, right? I mean, how is it people can take a statement like “If Mexicans can get in easily, then so can terrorists,” a statement which explicitly names two groups, and respond “How can you say all Mexicans are terrorist?!?” This is not what you said, of course, but it is a similar case. Taking two nouns that were in the statement, and running with them as if they were the premise of the statement.

    I did not compare driving to the right to residence. I compared the financial burden of proving that you have the privilege to drive to the financial burden of proving you have the right to reside here. It is similar to get a marriage license, renters insurance, food, clothes. All of these things are more of a burden on the poor than on the not-poor. I said that that additional burden is not an instance of unfairness.

  30. 30 toujoursdan Monday, April 26, 2010 at 7:03 am

    The number of undocumented workers has been on the decline since the economic meltdown and collapse of the housing market in Arizona in 2008. This dried up construction and landscaping jobs and many went elsewhere. So the idea that Arizona is “overrun” by illegals is not based in reality.

    Secondly, the law doesn’t just apply to people driving along the road, but anyone police have a “reasonable suspicion” about. My sister has the “dark Irish” gene and looks somewhat Mexican. She goes out jogging without carrying her ID almost every day. Now she feels a need to do so. It has turned AZ into a police state where everyone with brown skin has to be nervous.

    (And anyone who isn’t aware of how racial profiling works in the US is naive. The law isn’t racist but it will be applied in a racist way.)

    I’m not too worried about the law; it’s clearly unconstitutional and will be declared invalid before it takes affect. State legislatures have a long history of enacting bad law and Federal courts have a long history of throwing it out. Immigration is clearly a Federal mandate. The State doesn’t have the authority to create and enforce law.

    Finally, the idea that the feds aren’t doing anything is ludicrous. The U.S. government spends billions of dollars funding the border patrol and “enforcing the borders” each year. This is a 3,000 km border through some of the most inhospitable terrain in North America, so it’s almost impossible to stop undocumented immigration short of building a Berlin-style Wall and shooting border crossers on sight. Building a Berlin Wall along the border would be a disastrous development, lead the country further along the path to bankruptcy, cause uncountable human rights violations and not solve the problem. It would also destroy the economic livelihood of the border states and communities.

    The reason undocumented workers come to the States is that Americans are greedy and like the cheap labour they provide. When I lived in Dallas, Texas almost everyone I knew employed undocumented maids, housekeepers, nannies, landscapers and used undocumented immigrant labour for construction projects around the house and car repair. Americans love the cheap agriculture and produce that can only happen because of undocumented immigrant labour, wages and living conditions. Until something is done about that, this will be a problem.

  31. 31 toujoursdan Monday, April 26, 2010 at 7:15 am

    And even the Arizona Hispanic Republican caucus knows it’s racist:

    It is unfortunate that our own members of the Republican Party believe that we have to trample on our Constitution in order to “enforce our laws.” We believe that Pearce is easing the requirements for “probable cause” and his attempt in expanding our government. What Pearce’s bill proves is that he does not have the answer for illegal immigration within the confines of the American Constitution, and in fact he is not solving the problem by creating more problems.

    We believe United States Hispanic citizens have a right to be safe in their person from illegal searches and seizures, and we believe Pearce’s efforts are violating that. SB 1070 is a direct slap in the face to Hispanic Americans who have fought and died for several American wars because this new law can be abused by authorities to pull us over with mere “reasonable suspicion”…

    …Hispanic families are agonizing over this issue. Russell Pearce has not articulated a proactive approach to what will happen to American born children and their welfare as they are ripped apart from their parents. In fact, Russell Pearce believes that children born of illegal immigrants should not be declared as citizens.

    Arizona Hispanic Republicans will not vote for Jan Brewer this year because we are holding her accountable for supporting a bill that violates the Constitution and our Civil Rights. I have sounded the alarm to all Republicans in this state that the passing of this bill is political suicide.

    The State of Arizona already has a blemish because we were the last state of the Union to recognize Martin Luther King as an official holiday. Arizona Hispanic Republicans will write an open letter to our RNC Chair, Michael Steele, as he continues to consider where to hold our next 2011 GOP convention. We will caution our RNC Chair to consider the consequences of that because then it could be perceived as rewarding the state that implemented strong anti-Hispanic laws that has rattled our community and our Civil Rights.

    “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” — Abe Lincoln

    Statement from Arizona Hispanic Republicans

  32. 32 Brian Monday, April 26, 2010 at 8:00 am

    How did you do that bold-face?!? I have wanted to be able to use underline or bold so bad! Seems to me I tried bold and uline without success…

  33. 33 Frank Frink Monday, April 26, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Toujoursdan, a little bit of a wake up call for the Arizona Hispanic Republicans but unfortunate that they went on to blame Obama for the new state law…

    That said, and even though we are taking a stance against Jan Brewer’s and Russell Pearce’s law, we are ultimately holding President Obama accountable. Obama promised Hispanics that he would pass immigration reform within 90 days of his Presidency. Had Obama carried out his promises to Hispanics last year, the Hispanic community would not be experiencing the crisis we are experiencing right now. There has been recent criticism over our Senator John McCain because John McCain probably feels he cannot win the primary elections due to his previous stances on championing immigration reform and the consistent untrue attacks by Hayworth. It is understandable on why McCain believes he is in the fight of his life. For the record, Senator McCain has taken action in the past while Obama has not. McCain’s valuable experience contributed to Americans winning the Iraq war. The problem is this: There are more Latinos registered as Democrats in the State of Arizona that cannot vote for McCain in the primary elections and McCain wants to win. How can these hypocritical democrat leaders lay blame to the McCain when at the very least McCain has action to back his words? Why aren’t Democrat leaders holding Obama’s feet to the fire? Hispanics are more aligned with Republican values because of our social conservative values and our belief in the Creator; and if Hispanics want to make a real change to help change the face of our Party to bring it back to the Party of Abraham Lincoln, then I call upon all Latinos (Democrat and Independent) to register themselves as Republicans in order to bring it back to those roots.

  34. 34 toujoursdan Monday, April 26, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Yeah. That bit is ridiculous. Undocumented immigration has been an hot issue in the 1980s. Laws are passed by Congress, not Obama, and even that is difficult because of the obstructionist Republicans. And this crisis didn’t come out of nowhere. The AZ legislature passed an almost identical bill 3 times only to have Democrat Janet Napolitano veto it.

    So that part is bullshit.

  35. 35 Brian Monday, April 26, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    The number of undocumented workers has been on the decline since the economic meltdown & collapse of the housing market in Arizona in 2008. This dried up construction & landscaping jobs & many went elsewhere. So the idea that Arizona is “overrun” by illegals is not based in reality.

    A lessening of a bad problem does not necessarily mean there is no longer a problem.  Phoenix is the kidnapping capital of the country, with “more incidents than any other city in the world outside of Mexico City”.   Associates of the drug cartels are doing this kidnapping, and they’re not here to build houses, or work on farms.

    [T]he law doesn’t just apply to people driving along the road, but anyone police have a “reasonable suspicion” about.

    Look, I have pretty long hair; it almost reaches my elbows.  If a lot of crime was being committed by men with long hair, I would expect to get more scrutiny than men with short hair.  In my opinion, that is appropriate.  They’re not going to be arresting everyone in sight.  Plus, with this law in place, individuals without legal presence there will move.  Then there really will be less of a problem in Arizona.

    [I]t’s clearly unconstitutional and will be declared invalid before it takes affect.

    Unconstitutional because…   If you could back that up with the specific parts of the Constitution it violates, that would be more helpful than merely asserting it; I would really like to hear that case.

    The State doesn’t have the authority to create & enforce law.

    I hope you meant, “The State doesn’t have the authority to create & enforce this law.”  Of course they have the authority to enforce and create law.

    the idea that the feds aren’t doing anything is ludicrous

    That probably should be understood to mean “not enough.”

    Building a Berlin Wall along the border would … cause uncountable human rights violations… It would also destroy the economic livelihood of the border states & communities.

    How could a border barrier constitute a human-rights violation?  And you mean to say the economic livelihood relies on people croassing that inhospitable wasteland?

    The reason undocumented workers come to the States is that Americans are greedy

    Right, got it.  It’s always the fault of the Americans.  And trying to save money is always greed.

    I do agree though, it will continue until something is done about it, and something should be.  Allowing law breaking to go unchecked is always a bad idea.

  36. 36 J. A. Baker Monday, April 26, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    When even Tom “Bring Back Literacy Tests!” Tancredo is worried about the potential for mischief abuse, you just might be pursuing the wrong policy.

  37. 37 J. A. Baker Monday, April 26, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    <sarcasm>And trying to save money is always greed.</sarcasm>

    Granted, trying to save money in and of itself isn’t greed, but “saving money” as an excuse to rob labor to pay for that $1.22 million remodeling of the executive office suite as the company goes down in flames IS greed.

  38. 38 Brian Monday, April 26, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Yes, yes it is.  I have zero disagreement with that.

    But there can’t be enough million-dollar plus remodeling to be the driving dynamic behind the whole situation, is there?  I thought the rich people were in nicer climates.

  39. 39 Brian Monday, April 26, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    …you just might be pursuing the wrong policy.

    True enough.  I really am watching with keen interest to see what happens.

    A conservative host I like to listen to (who is not Rush Limbaugh, btw) spent his 1st hour today asserting that this law is bad law — and that would carry a lot of weight with me, except that he again and again said, “Because …”, then followed that with straw men.  I have heard him argue badly before, so I know he misses the mark sometimes, but still, because of my respect for him it is always a disappointment to me when he does.  I would presume that if he had better arguments, he would have presented them.  This particular host, though not a lawyer, has gone to some law school. (Was a study partner with Hillary Rodham, in fact!)

    So things like that have me in a quandary on this one.  I have heard a lot more spread within the Republican sphere on this issue than is the case on most other issues.  So, as I said, you might be right: I may be wrong on this one.  I’m waiting to see.

  40. 41 psa Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 4:52 am

    you’re going to evelop carpal tunnel syndrome polishing that turd brian.

  41. 42 toujoursdan Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 5:45 am

    Now this is getting stupid:

    A lessening of a bad problem does not necessarily mean there is no longer a problem. Phoenix is the kidnapping capital of the country, with “more incidents than any other city in the world outside of Mexico City”. Associates of the drug cartels are doing this kidnapping, and they’re not here to build houses, or work on farms.

    Irrelevant. This law isn’t going to do anything to stop this. Secondly, forcing immigrants into the shadows will lead to MORE smuggling and violence.

    Look, I have pretty long hair; it almost reaches my elbows. If a lot of crime was being committed by men with long hair, I would expect to get more scrutiny than men with short hair. In my opinion, that is appropriate. They’re not going to be arresting everyone in sight. Plus, with this law in place, individuals without legal presence there will move. Then there really will be less of a problem in Arizona.

    The vast majority of crime in Phoenix is committed by white people, not brown people. The law is targeting brown people. The law FORCES police to stop ANYONE they suspect is illegal and it FORCES everyone who is stopped to prove that they are not, else be arrested and be FORCED pay costs even if they later prove they are here legally. That violates the rights of everyone, citizen and non-citizen, alike.

    Again, even the Hispanic REPUBLICANS acknowledge that this is a racist law. REPUBLICANS, no less.

    Unconstitutional because… If you could back that up with the specific parts of the Constitution it violates, that would be more helpful than merely asserting it; I would really like to hear that case.

    It violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. You can ignore what legal scholars say, but it isn’t going to change the outcome. Immigration bills passed by states are generally invalidated by Federal courts. It’s not their jurisdiction. Politics Daily: Law Likely Doomed in Court

    I hope you meant, “The State doesn’t have the authority to create & enforce this law.” Of course they have the authority to enforce and create law.

    You know exactly what was meant.

    How could a border barrier constitute a human-rights violation?

    There is already a border barrier. What do you think they going to do when people go over it, like they do now?

    And you mean to say the economic livelihood relies on people croassing that inhospitable wasteland?

    Yes. Arizona’s economic livelihood relies on undocumented labour. Obviously.

    Right, got it. It’s always the fault of the Americans. And trying to save money is always greed.

    Americans generally don’t want to pay costs to support a living wage for unskilled labour and services, so legal residents find work in other industries and professions that pay better wages. The resulting niche is filled by undocumented labour who ARE willing to be paid third world wages and live in third world conditions so their products and services are cheaper. Then people whine that they are here.

    You right wingers are a riot. You worship at the feet of the so-called “free market” which can never fail, yet this is the free market at work. People are willing to come here and work for a wage that makes them more attractive to consumers and consumers are willing to pay for their services.

  42. 43 Cornelius T. Zen Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 7:25 am

    Good morrow, all!
    This is not a can or worms. This is a barrel of snakes. Poisonous snakes.
    Try this sometime: Line up an illegal immigrant Mexican, a legal Latino citizen and a native Indian, dress them alike, and then tell me which is which.
    The natives of the Americas are all descendants of the same group of Mongolian nomads who crossed the Bering land bridge some 50,000 years ago. They bear a striking physical and genetic resemblance to one another, because they are all, essentially, cousins. The people of Mexico speak Spanish, because, for many years, the politically dominant people were Spanish, as in, from Spain. However, the brown-skinned natives were in the Americas long before the first Caucasian Europeans set foot on the continent.
    Brian, you may not like the sound of it, but it is true: Europeans did take these continents from the natives at the point of their guns. To you, that means that whoever has the firepower is entitled to the land and resources.
    The concept of “might makes right” does not sit well with me, and, I would venture to say, with a number of readers of this blog. I guess that makes us all faggoty liberals, eh?
    This legislation reinforces the entitlement of the conqueror. What it cannot do is stop the future from happening, a future in which people of Caucasian European extraction become the visible minority.
    White man’s burden is becoming white man’s nightmare – CTZen

  43. 45 Bleatmop Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 9:59 am

    All USians should eat beef one less time a year to subsidize the beef wall. It’s an important sacrifice every citizen should make to secure the USA’s boarders.

  44. 46 Brian Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Sacrebleu! it’s cordon bleu!


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