Since people have been asking me what I think of the Arizona law that prohibits illegal aliens, I figured I might as well do a post on it. The media has been portraying this as an anti-immigration bill. It is not. It is an anti-illegal immigration bill. There have been comments by moronic politicians, actors, activists and protesters to the effect that anyone with brown skin can be stopped by the police and asked for their immigration papers. This is not the case. These are the same people that complain that their conservative counterparts resort to fear-mongering in order to win elections. Yet this is exactly what they are partaking in by bandying about terms like "racial profiling".
Here it is in a nutshell, paraphrased from City Journal:
The law, SB 1070, empowers local police officers to check the immigration status of individuals whom they have encountered during a “lawful stop, detention or arrest,” if an officer reasonably suspects the person stopped of being in the country illegally, and if an inquiry into the person’s status is “practicable.” The officer may not base his suspicion of illegality “on race, color or national origin.” The law also requires aliens to carry their immigration documents, mirroring an identical federal requirement.
The law gives an officer the discretion, when practicable, to determine someone’s immigration status only after the officer has otherwise made a lawful stop, detention, or arrest. It does not allow, much less require, fishing expeditions for illegal aliens. But if, say, after having stopped someone for running a red light, an officer discovers that the driver does not have a driver’s license, does not speak English, and has no other government identification on him, the officer may, if practicable, send an inquiry to his dispatcher to check the driver’s status with a federal immigration clearinghouse.
An officer must have a lawful, independent basis for a stop; he can only ask to see papers if he has “reasonable suspicion” to believe that the person is in the country illegally. “Reasonable suspicion” is a legal concept of long-standing validity, rooted in the Constitution’s prohibition of “unreasonable searches and seizures.” It meaningfully constrains police activity; officers are trained in its contours, which have evolved through common-law precedents, as a matter of course.
So do I support the Arizona bill?
HELL YES. People are dying unnecessarily at the hands of gangbangers, drug cartels and murderers who should never have been here in the U.S. to begin with. Don't we have enough home grown criminals to fill our prisons? Do we need more strain on our health care and schools? Do we really want to support people who sneak in and don't pay taxes? Once again, we already have plenty of our own to take care of.
Not to mention that in a post-9/11 world, it's national suicide to allow porous borders, lax enforcement of immigration laws and a total lack of knowledge of who the hell is in our country. But I guess in some people's minds, compromising national security is acceptable so long as the practice might reward them with more votes.
We are a nation of immigrants. Legal immigrants. Not tax evading fence jumpers. If we don't enforce our national security standards, then why enforce any law at all? This former police officer and current Arizona lawmaker (originally from Middle Village) seems to get it. Wake up, people.