blank'/> Liberally Lean From The Land Of Dairy Queen: A Fair And Balanced Review of The Arizona Immigration Bill

4.28.2010

A Fair And Balanced Review of The Arizona Immigration Bill

All the brohaha over the Arizona Immigration Law got me thinking: What exactly does it say? The best I can tell is that the above provision is what everyone is fighting over. It's pretty interestingly worded because it has two prongs that jump out at me. The government of Arizona shall take a reasonable attempt to determine a person's immigration status if (1) there is a "reasonable suspicion" that person is an illegal alien and (2) the official has already made "lawful contact" with that person.
"Lawful contact" at first seems like a heck of restriction, but it really isn't. Yeah, a cop couldn't make random traffic stops to check for immigration status because that's not "lawful". But if there were a valid traffic stop, the cop has now lawfully contacted everyone in the car, not just the driver. More importantly, there's nothing unlawful for a police officer to casually walk in a crowd or walk up to someone on the street and ask them how they are doing. Heck, they can even knock on your front door for no reason. It criminal circles, that's simply referred to as an "encounter" which requires no justification and, more importantly, that would be a "lawful contact" under the Arizona law. So everyone is fair game.
The second part of the law requiring attention is the part referring to an officer having "reasonable suspicion" that someone is an illegal alien. That's a term of art used in criminal law which normally allows for an officer to detain, not arrest, someone if the officer "has a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot." (Legal battles are fought over that every day). But, honestly, the Arizona law really isn't a change in the law at all. If an officer truly had a "reasonable suspicion" that someone is an illegal alien, they could stop and detain them to investigate even if the new Arizona law was not on the books.
But here's the kicker: What exactly is "reasonable suspicion" that someone is an illegal alien? That's the problem. The only answer is that you would have to use stereotypes to justify the detention of any person solely under the new law. But those stereotypes don't work because not only do they apply to illegal aliens, but they equally apply to millions of legal American citizens of Mexican descent. (Hey, I've seen Born in East LA.)
So the bottom line, I think, is that the new law really doesn't change the law at all. However, you've never seen "suspected" illegal aliens detained on the streets in the past solely to check for immigration status because the cops know there's really no way they can articulate why the person they detained couldn't have just as easily been an American citizen. And the fear that it might start now kind of has The Left up in arms. It is American citizens, who might not look like "traditional America", who will suffer.
Edit #1 to respond to comment: Even if you are here illegally, you still have the same rights to be free from an unlawful detention as an American citizen. You may not like it, but that's the law. And as an American citizen not doing anything wrong, I have a HUGE problem with being detained.
Edit #2: Someone pointed out that being an illegal alien leads to deportation which is a federal civil, not criminal, matter. So maybe cops, absent the Arizona law, don't have the right to detain a suspected illegal alien after all. That's a great point.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

So your point is if you are truly a legal citizen of the US then you have nothing to worry about despite what racial stereotype you fit. Worst that can happen is you will be detained, prove your citizenship and be on your way. If you are not a legal citizen then you do not have rights as a legal citizen, therefore your rights haven't been violated at all and you will be deported...I don't see the problem?

Anonymous said...

dude youre reading too much into this - what's gonna happen is a mexican will get pulled over because he committed some sort of traffic violation. the cop will then ask for his drivers' license. the mexican will go "no hablo ingles". the cop will then say "givo meo youro driverso licenseo". and the mexican will then say "no tengo" - then you have lawful stop and reasonable suspcicion because virtually every american can 1) speak english and 2) has a drivers license. then we get to send that mofo packin for the south of the border.

all this talk about the gestapo walking around asking for papers is nonsense.

Anonymous said...

I look young, but am actually over the age of 21, and am often times "carded" when I purchase a "drink" at a restaurant or store. Should people who LOOK young i.e. under the legal age to purchase alcohol but are, in fact, old enough and legally able to purchase a "drink" take offense and scream discrimination or a violation of their civil rights for being asked for their identification? If we were to take the same approach for selling alcohol as we do on illegal immigration, it would seem that we would need to start selling alcohol to anyone!! First time to comment on this blog and not sure what annoys me more; the fact that I did or your goofy take on life. I do like the half naked girls however!!!

Anonymous said...

I can fix it alot easier for them. Do not give driver's license to anybody here illegally. Just roadblock and check for lisc and insurance ever so often. Deport the offenders. Actually shut down the borders and keep them shut down and the problem is solved. Rev Al and the rest of the "Poverty Pimps" can't scream profiling if you are asking everybody for their lisc.... Half the people driving in AZ, NM, and Tx are illegal.

mzchief said...

Hmmmmmm...
Imagine that, AZ law enforcement will now have the LEGAL RIGHT to properly ascertain the identity and immigration statues to better serve/properly deal with members of the public with whom they have "Lawful Contact."

The snot storm that has been stirred up by the Loony Leftist Liberals is NOTHING but an attempt at diverting the public's attention from the REAL ISSUES of joblessness, out of control spending, new taxes, cap and tax as well as the Dems/Repubs doing NOTHING to eliminate illegal aliens from the US.

I still stand by my assertion, the US DESPERATELY needs a VIABLE guest worker's program that does not involve AMNESTY for all current illegal aliens.

Anonymous said...

If you're here unlawfully we can do whatever we want unlawfully to get you.

Anonymous said...

"Even if you are here illegally, you still have the same rights to be free from an unlawful detention as an American citizen."

How can it be "unlawful detention", if someone is here "illegally". Illegal=crime=detain the mother.

Why are liberals so freaking stupid?

Anonymous said...

Think about what you are seeing, people are here illegally holding signs boycotting a state that has every right to inforce laws to protect itself. If they dont like the law they can become LEGAL CITIZENS and vote their conscience. Illegals are breaking the law, thats plain and simple and if the government won't enforce the laws then the states should! Obama is not supporting it because those are his new votes the minute he gives them all amnesty might as well just give the whole country to Mexico or turn it over to the Muslims they will be next in line for that free meal ticket!

Anonymous said...

Just not clear how Arizona can make a criminal offense out of a federal civil matter.

All U.S. immigration laws, even the laws with penalties, are civil law. If the federal government doesn't prosecute a case in criminal court, can Arizona?

Anonymous said...

Get pulled over for a traffic violation, go back to Mexico, sounds good to me!

HHL said...

There's also a provision which gives a cause of action to any citizen to sue his municipal or county government for failure to diligently enforce these provisions. I predict that a lot of "real" Americans throughout the state, looking around and seeing a lot of brown people still going about their business, will take advantage of this provision. Which, in turn, will cause these local governments (even the ones who haven't been sued *yet*) to "crack down" on those brown people by taking the opportunity to "lawfully contact" them (i.e., harass them).

Anonymous said...

Barry, good interpretation of the statute. Seems that some of my fellow citizens aren't bothered by Big Brother as much as me. We will see how it plays out.

My Other Brother Darryl

Anonymous said...

The point being if our Federal Governments would at least enforce laws that they make, states wouldn't have to do the job of the Federal Government. For the idiots who do not like the law...what is the solution to getting illegal aliens off of our property? They are not citizens, they are breaking our laws...they have no rights.

Anonymous said...

OK, all you liberals who want all these illegals to have the same rights as you--just wait until your daughter, wife is raped by one. Your home is broken into and all your treasures you worked hard for are stolen, your car is stolen and taken to Mexico, you are in an accident with a drunk illegal with no DL or insurance, the state is bled dry feeding all the illegals, the hospitals are overrun by "sick" illegals, all those unheard of before diseases popup here, you are forced to learn Meskin like the teachers in your school or lose their job, you become MORE of a minority than they are, you cannot read or understand anything they say or write---then whatcha gonna do? For every one brown skinned on the street, there are 6-7 stashed at home and she's pregnant carrying 1 or 2 around driving a better car than you using the LoneStar Card. Check it out sometime in Diamond or IGA--you'll wanna puke.

Anonymous said...

I think Barry has inadvertently revealed an even deeper problem -- the over-lawyering of our nation.

Anonymous said...

I just think it's going to potentially turn in to a giant clusterf^ck. Only time will tell.

Anonymous said...

MMmmm...very strange occurance today at work in TEXAS. An OSHA rep asked one of our foreman if he had his green card. LOL what's up with that?

Oh...and she was an African American.

Racial profiling?

MMmmmmmmmmm.......

Anonymous said...

"Edit #2: Someone pointed out that being an illegal alien leads to deportation which is a federal civil, not criminal, matter."

Maybe the bigger point is that being an illegal alien should be a federal CRIMINAL instead of a CIVIL matter. Hopefully, some conservative who went over to the dark side and got a law degree will address that.

Anonymous said...

"Brouhaha."

Anonymous said...

Send the mexican home with a nigger under each arm is a good start.

Anonymous said...

Shut up, Mzchief.

Anonymous said...

If illegal aliens have the same rights as legal citizens then my being legal means squat, the fact that I pay taxes means squat, the fact that I American means squat.

Anonymous said...

I think if this type of bill passes in Texas...Bridgeport will become a ghost town and really have to fire all of their city employees. Although I would guess the majority of the majority of illegal's income must go Western Union to Mexico...so doubt they contribute to the city tax base anyway....maybe thats an issue? Dunno.

Anonymous said...

Why is the United States the only country not allowed to enforce its immigration laws? And if the Federal Government doesn't do its job because of political reasons...are we saying that the people and the states just have to take it? How come Mexico has strict immigration laws...are they racist? And the reason liberals are so freaking stupid is that they never grew a brain.

Anonymous said...

"WHEN PRACTICABLE" ????

when practical??

Anonymous said...

ILLEGAL = not legal

I don't understand why that is so hard to understand.

Let's just do away with everything ILLEGAL. Can't discriminate now can we?

Anonymous said...

They (illegals) work, sometimes for cash, use their Lone Star Food Card, WIC and then unroll the one hundred dollar bills to buy their alcohol and tobacco. THAT MAKES YOU WANT TO PUKE. Forgot the free health care, school lunches and anything else that they cannot buy, just seems to stick to their hands. Mostly these are younger people and then the American Citizens that have lived here, paid their taxes, raised their families and now have to choose between their medicine or food. SOMETHING JUST AIN'T RIGHT.