Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Arizona Immigration Law

You know me, I generally steer clear of controversial subjects on my blog. Going against my better judgment I'll make a few observations about the new immigration law in Arizona that's attracting so much attention. For the record, one of the co-authors of the law is Chris Kobach, a professor at the University of Missouri Kansas City. He is a Christian with a sharp legal mind.

According to what I can surmise (like U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, I have not read the law)- The law requires police to check with federal authorities on a person's immigration status, if officers have stopped that person for some legitimate reason and come to suspect that he or she might be in the U.S. illegally. The heart of the law is this provision: "For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency…where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person…"

Honestly, this sounds pretty reasonable to me at first glance. Basically Arizona is sick of the Federal failure to secure it's border and is taking action to enforce existing laws. Sitting here in Overland Park, Kansas, I can't see how this law- in theory- is unreasonable or unjust. My opinion certainly isn't swayed when I listen to Mexican President Calderon condemning the law. Well duh! A billion U.S. dollars go to Mexico from illegal immigrants every year. Calderon simply can't afford to see the money train stop- I get that part of the picture. Despite some the seeming outcry by people opposing the law, Fox news tells us a majority of Americans agree with it.

Here's the struggle I have- it's not the theory or ideal of the law I have a problem with, it's the reality of how it may be enforced. It's easy for Joe White American to say it's a good law. If you're Latino, you probably think differently. I have quite a few friends who are Latino, several of them are dear brothers in Christ. Every one of these friends are opposed to illegal immigration. One is actually a lawyer who works very diligently to counsel Latinos to enter this country legally. I have first hand knowledge of him helping to send illegal immigrants back to Mexico when he is aware of such situations. But these Latino brothers of mine are pretty convinced such a law will cause grief to many and injustice to some. Virtually all of my Latino friends can tell you stories about "special" attention they get from police that can only be explained by the way they look or talk. I could tell you their particular stories and you might say, as a non-Latino person- "oh, you're exaggerating" or "you're reading in to that situation." I'm just saying that my Latino brothers, who are legal citizens and far from liberal politically, are very nervous about this kind of law. Maybe you're saying like me initially-"the police have to be stopping a person on the basis of legitimately suspecting a different violation". My Latino friends who have been pulled over for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign in their near traffic-less sub-divisions are understandably leery.

OK, so maybe despite my brothers concerns, this is still a good law or a reasonable step in developing a good long term solution to a considerable problem. That's quite possible. Maybe the police force of Arizona will execute stellar judgment and guard themselves from personal bias when working to enforce this law. I'm sure most law enforcement officers are so honorable.

Once again, however, I'm glad to be white, as awkward as that seems to write.


Anonymous said...

The alternative to the Arizona/US laws are to continue to let non-citizens break the law & continue to treat them better than the tax paying citizens of this country.

If it's ok to break this FEDERAL law - then I guess it's ok to break any/all FEDERAL laws?

Jail the law keepers & give special privilages to the law breakers - That's the Obama way!


Michael Lockridge said...

In the jail where I worked were a number of officers who on their own initiative routinely put together information on illegals taken into custody and shipped that information to immigration. Eventually we were all directed to stop doing this. The directive was from the California state level.

Interviews with Arizona residents who have seen their neighborhoods decline toward anarchy and chaos convince me that it is not a bad thing for a State to take such matters into their own hands.

I am convinced that prohibition does not work, empowers criminals by forcing markets underground and increases the danger to the public through unregulated markets and the violence of criminal business methods.

Perhaps it is time for a radical change.

Rick Calohan said...

SB1070 mirrors federal law, which the federal government is not enforcing. I get calls everyday from Eloy, Florence, Tucson, and Phoenix wanting information from the files of illegal aliens that they have apprehended. State and local officials 287g program are usually the first responders and need the last removals, then CBP needs the original and last removals, photo and prints to verify and write them up. Then ICE prosecutions will need the subject’s last three removals and judgments and convictions and any other documents we have not sent to the 287g & CBP. All along Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California Ports of entry and crossing bridges probably make up to 70% of the 500+ cases a day our agency receives. Granted not every illegal is a gang member, drug dealer or smuggles people across the boarder. However, the ones who are now making upwards to 1/3 of the current US prison population and forcing many a border town hospital to close up and declare bankruptcy. One side of the aisle wants cheap labor the other side wants illegal votes. This insanity has to stop, and this law alone now forces the state to take action where legally it was not required to do so. The irony is DHS is headed by the former governor of Arizona and she has admitted not reading the law nor would she have sign such a law which again she has not read which only tells me she has not read the federal law it mirrors and that she is required to upheld. The same is true of the Attorney General and suspect in light of the Presidents comments him as well. Now Arizona has a glimmer of hope of protecting the legal law-abiding citizens from gangs like MS-13, and other illegal Mexican and Other Than Mexican (OTM) gang bangers from reclaiming the state for Mexico. This by the way is supporting by non other than a front group La Raza. Their goal is to reclaim back the land that Mexico lost in the Mexican-American War of 1848. Ask an OTM what happens when they are caught in Mexico illegally. If they have no money to pay the Mexican police, they are beaten and sometimes left for dead. If they have money, they are held for ransom.

Now Tony with all do respect to your “Latino” friends, whom if they are American citizens I will simply call them Americans, you know my wife Tony, she is not considered “White” but if 30 million illegal Filipinos were roaming the United States and she was pulled over and did not have her documentation that she is here legally then the burden of proof would be on her. If it were my boys in the future and they did not have proper documentations at least dear old dad can show law enforcement their birth certificates which is more than the current President of the United States can do.

You are required to have your driver’s license are you not when you drive? You are required to have your passport when you travel overseas are you not? You are required to do many things according to law or else face prosecution. These agents on the front lines are not out to trap those whom they think might be illegal, is it possible that a few might, sure, however lets look at the facts.

The Department of Justice reports that the US only have “effective control” of less than 700 of the 1,954 miles of border. Arizona has the second largest border with Mexico and the longest unsecured segment. Six thousand foreign nationals are convicted felons housed in Arizona prisons at a cost of over $150 million a year to Arizona Taxpayers. The biggest opponents and those pushing for a boycott do not known the facts. Some such as you have not even read the law.

Reepicheep said...

Something definitely has to be done. No doubt.

Like I said, maybe the law is good.

Just don't be naive about what it means for some of our citizens-and brethren in Christ- that's all I'm saying.

Roger Mann said...

But these Latino brothers of mine are pretty convinced such a law will cause grief to many and injustice to some. Virtually all of my Latino friends can tell you stories about "special" attention they get from police that can only be explained by the way they look or talk... My Latino friends who have been pulled over for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign in their near traffic-less sub-divisions are understandably leery.

Yes, such a law will cause "grief to many" -- that is, to illegal immigrants who get caught in our country violating the law. But "injustice to some?" How? What section of the law (which I have read) will cause "injustice" to anyone who is here legally? The answer is that no section of the law is unjust or promotes injustice to anyone who is here legally. The law only applies to illegal immigrants, regardless of race or national origin. There is nothing racist or unjust about the law, period.

If Mexicans happen to be the primary violators of the immigration law in Arizona, that's their problem not the law's. Middle aged white males are the primary violators of the law against child molestation, and poor white males are the primary violators of the law against the distribution of methamphetamines. So what? Does that mean that the laws against child molestation and the distribution of methamphetamines are racist or unjust against white males? Of course not. Well, the same principle applies to our immigration laws. If you don't want "grief," then don't violate the law.

"Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same" -- Romans 13:3

Now, if your Latino friends are simply "leery" about the law being unjustly abused by law enforcement officers, so what? Tell them to grow up. Any law can and will be abused by a minority of law enforcement officers. That's life. Life isn't fair. Get used to it. The proper response isn't to oppose the law itself, but to punish those few law enforcement officers who unjustly abuse law by harassing innocent people.

Why does this even need to be explained? Have we become a nation of immature juveniles who can no longer think critically? (By the way, being in a racially mixed marriage for 23 years, I've dealt with plenty of racism from whites, blacks, and Hispanics in my lifetime. So, if anyone is tempted, please don't start with the I "just don't get it" condescension. I "get it" just fine. I just don't whine about it or blow it out of proportion)

Reepicheep said...

I'll be sure to find the brothers on Sunday and tell them to grow up. Thanks for the advice.

Roger Mann said...

Asked if he agrees with President Calderon's view that the Arizona immigration law "that is forcing our people to face discrimination," President Obama said in the Rose Garden just now that it "has the potential of being applied in a discriminatory fashion." He said a "fair reading" of the law...indicates those who are at risk of being deemed possibly illegal could face "harassment" and that the judgments law enforcement would need to make to apply the law are "troublesome." (Jake Tapper, reporting for ABC News)

Someone needs to tell President Obama to grow up as well. Using his brilliant logic we would have to oppose all laws -- including the Federal immigration law that he's sworn to uphold -- as every law "has the potential of being applied in a discriminatory fashion." If that isn't juvenile thinking, then I don't know what is.

Rick Calohan said...

Just in case your "Latino brothers" happen to cross into Mexico. Courtesy of Wolf Blitzer and President Calderon of Mexico

BLITZER: All right. Let's talk a little bit about Mexico's laws. I read an article in "The Washington Times" the other day. I'm going to read a paragraph to you and you tell me if this is true or not true. This is from "The Washington Times": "Under the Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony punishable by up to two years in prison. Immigrants who are deported and attempt to reenter can be imprisoned for 10 years. Visa violators can be sentenced to six year terms. Mexicans who help illegal immigrants are considered criminals."

Is that true?

CALDERON: It was true, but it is not anymore. We derogate or we erased that part of the law. Actually, the legal immigration is not a -- is not a crime in Mexico. Not anymore, since one year ago. And that is the reason why we are trying to establish our own comprehensive public policy talking about, for instance, immigrants coming from Central America...

BLITZER: So if...


BLITZER: So if people want to come from Guatemala or Honduras or El Salvador or Nicaragua, they want to just come into Mexico, they can just walk in?

CALDERON: No. They need to fulfill a form. They need to establish their right name. We analyze if they have not a criminal precedent. And they coming into Mexico. Actually...

BLITZER: Do Mexican police go around asking for papers of people they suspect are illegal immigrants?

CALDERON: Of course. Of course, in the border, we are asking the people, who are you?

And if they explain...

BLITZER: At the border, I understand, when they come in.


BLITZER: But once they're in...

CALDERON: But not -- but not in -- if -- once they are inside the -- inside the country, what the Mexican police do is, of course, enforce the law. But by any means, immigration is a crime anymore in Mexico.

BLITZER: Immigration is not a crime, you're saying?

CALDERON: It's not a crime.

BLITZER: So in other words, if somebody sneaks in from Nicaragua or some other country in Central America, through the southern border of Mexico, they wind up in Mexico, they can go get a job...


BLITZER: They can work.

CALDERON: If -- if somebody do that without permission, we send back -- we send back them.

Woody Woodward said...

Several things are for sure! Something has to be done! The Fed’s are doing nothing! The Illegal’s are draining, maybe I should be so bold to say they are downright stealing border States! Racial profiling will never go away! It’s an awful mess! The body of Christ seems to have done no better job of dealing with the problem as the government has. Instead of Christians pointing fingers at the problem, we should do as our Brother Lenny does, point our problems towards Jesus Christ.

Reepicheep said...

There is no doubt something has to be done.

I'm totally in favor of building a huge fence and lining it with 10-15,000 border patrol officers. I don't understand why this hasn't been seriously pursued.

The situation is indeed desperate.

Swilliams said...

I agree wholeheartedly with Roger Mann - he nailed it. I am so tired of hearing that someone might be the "victim" of "racial profiling." Bah, humbug. The majority of persons illegally entering our sovereign nation from Mexico are MEXICANS, and the majority of terrorists conducting jihad on Americans are MUSLIMS. Facts, period. When I was searched at the airport in Detroit by a TSA woman in a burkha I said to myself the world has gone insane.

The simple fact is the federal law, upheld by the US Supreme Court en banc, does not require "reasonable suspician" to stop a person by law enforcement, but the AZ law does. Then there's the Mexican law which is rather "exclusive" and perhaps oppressive, is it not? Thank you Rick for referencing the Wolf BLitzer interview. The hypocrisy of this issue is beyond anything we Americans should have to tolerate from this phony government and the rude guest in our country from the South.

But what was the worst display of anti-Americanism I think I have ever seen by members of Congress was the standing ovation for Calderon when he attacked our laws and the state of AZ. Here is a response from a brave Congressman:

The only positive thing about this whole mess is the female Governor of AZ who has the biggest set in the entire governmental structure.

Jim said...

First, the problem of "illegal immigration" will solve itself in 20 years or so. Maybe less. The U.S. is going to be begging for Mexican workers to immigrate to the U.S. in order to work here, and to pay the taxes necessary to sustain the aging Anglo population. This will prove increasingly difficult as Mexico continues its economic development -- soon enough, wages in Mexico will rival those in the U.S., thus deterring any incentive for Mexican workers to immigrate to the U.S. (whether legally or illegally).

Secondly, while I think that nations can prohibit immigration by criminals and people carrying serious contagious diseases, I suspect that restrictions on mobility of people seeking better wages and living conditions is a violation of natural right or natural law.

Leviticus 25:35
"Now in case a countryman of yours becomes poor and his means with regard to you falter, then you are to sustain him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you."

Leviticus 19:34
"The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God."

Numbers 35:15
"These six cities shall be for refuge for the sons of Israel, and for the alien and for the sojourner among them . . ."

Deuteronomy 10:18-19
"He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.
"So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt."

Deuteronomy 14:29
"The Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance among you, and the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do."

Deuteronomy 23:7
"You shall not detest an Edomite, for he is your brother; you shall not detest an Egyptian, because you were an alien in his land."

Deuteronomy 24:20
"When you beat your olive tree, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow."

Deuteronomy 24:21
"When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not go over it again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow."

Ezekiel 47:22
"You shall divide it by lot for an inheritance among yourselves and among the aliens who stay in your midst, who bring forth sons in your midst And they shall be to you as the native-born among the sons of Israel; they shall be allotted an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel."

Malachi 3:5
"Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me," says the LORD of hosts."

Isn't this what the U.S. stands for? Inalienable rights for all?

If not, let's tear down the Statue of Liberty as a lie. Her words continue to inspire me, if not other American Christians and conservatives:

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she, 'With silent lips

"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!"

Wayne said...

I totally agree with Jim here. The problem isn't the Arizona law. The problem is that the Arizona law simply enforces a bad federal law. We need to make it much easier for low-wage immigrant workers to obtain work visas so they're not breaking the law.

I just hate it when white people look at this as just a law enforcement issue.