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Opening Arguments

Border madness

Is Arizona's new immigration law an overreach that will invite abuse, if not take the state to apartheid-like actions or even a Nazi Germany atmosphere? Or does reaction to the law amount to hysterical ravings about a perfectly reasonable measure?

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


Kevin Knuth
Tue, 04/27/2010 - 9:56am

I heard a report about this on NPR today. "lawful contact" could also be as easy as someone playing a stereo loudly in a public park- not breaking the law, and a police officer coming over and asking them to turn it down.

While I understand the idea behind this law, I think it is heading down a wrong road. I am shocked that Conservatives think ANY American should have to "carry papers".

And this part humors me: "Arizona

Bob G.
Tue, 04/27/2010 - 10:24am

You would be very surpised at how many "routine" traffic stops result in the DRIVER not having ANY ID on them (imagine that)...and the vast majority are CITIZENS here LEGALLY (born and bred as the saying goes).

Doesn't it make sense to carry SOME sort of ID on you at all times?
Isn't that why we have wallets...and handbags?

What if you pass out somewhere...no ID, no medic-alert, no emergency number...no anything.
Not the best way to wind up, no matter WHO you are.

But hey, who said people practiced common sense THESE days, eh?

I'm just sayin'...

And, as we all know...stupidty IS color-blind.

Tue, 04/27/2010 - 10:27am

I agree. Has anyone here ever seen a World War II movie where the line "show me your papers" was not spoken?
I'm a liberal on most issues, but I attempt to be nonpartisan.
I think Republicans may be making a serious mistake here. Obviously, the only thing that would make a person "look like" an illegal alien, at least in Arizona, is to have dark features and/or a Mexican accent.
Federal courts will overturn this within weeks, and the GOP will lose hispanic support everywhere except southern Florida, where hatred of Castro has helped them.
I know Republicans are wary of taking my advice, but I honestly think they would do themselves a favor by distancing themselves from this.
There is definitely an illegal immigrant problem, but this law is worse than the problem it seeks to solve.
Maybe both parties could agree that a hefty fine on employers who knowingly hire illegals might stem the tide. If they couldn't get jobs, they might not come here in such huge numbers.
I'm open to suggestions.

tim zank
Tue, 04/27/2010 - 5:07pm

Of course the democrats reaction, combined with the media reaction is one of mass hysteria as it's obvious to them we will start "rounding up" everybody with brown skin within the state of Arizona just for the hell of it.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. When you break it down, the only thing that is changing is that now an officer, after investigating for some other reason or infraction than "immigration status" is allowed to ask the person if they are a U.S. citizen.

What in the hell is wrong with that?

Federal law has always mandated any one from another country here "legally" visiting/working MUST produce a green card (their papers) to prove they are NOT illegal aliens. If they have no green card (papers) they are (supposed to be) expelled.

To automatically presuppose the entire population of Arizona law enforcement officers will immediately just start rounding people up is preposterous. Will some abuse their power? Sure, but those guys already do, and every group of people has a percentage that are bad apples. Fact of life for cops, dentists, priests, bloggers, everyone etc...

This isn't about race, it's not about chasing brown people out of arizona, it's about crime. It's a no brainer, if you have a guy in custody that you have just arrested leaving a 7-Eleven with a gun and a sack of cash, what possible reason can anyone think of to NOT verify he's a citizen??? It's absolutely stupid NOT to. Are some American citizens going to get mistaken for illegals and get their feelings hurt? Sure, and they have a remedy for that, if you've been wronged, it's called the court system.

Forget all the race baiting bullsh*t and use your freaking heads people.

The federal government just passed a law that mandates that an agency of the U.S. Government must now verify your insurance coverage "status" (your papers) and if found to be "not in order" ( i.e. you haven't bought insurance) you will be penalized/punished. You want to start drawing "state control" comparisons, think about that one a little bit.

Tue, 04/27/2010 - 7:17pm

I don't think the Arizona cops will start demanding ID from every brown person they see. I assume they're smart enough to see how stupid this law is and have already discussed it. I doubt they will demand proof of citizenship from anyone unless they were arrested for something else. They know this law is unconstitutional and will be knocked down the first time it makes it to a federal court. Arizona lawmakers have to know that, too. I think they're just pandering to voters who want them to "do something." I'd wager this law will be gone in two months.

tim zank
Tue, 04/27/2010 - 9:03pm

It won't be found unconstitutional LJ...it's a virtual carbon copy of the existing federal law and it's been very carefully crafted to follow the same procedure. Wait a couple of weeks and Sharpton & Co. will be off fightin' whitey elsewhere & the Dems will be back on crap & trade. It's too risky to push for an immigration reform bill now, they'll back off.

Kevin Knuth
Wed, 04/28/2010 - 6:08am

The Utah AG thinks it is unconstitutional- http://www.thespectrum.com/article/20100428/NEWS01/4280303

Wed, 04/28/2010 - 7:11am

Tim, the federal law on which it was modeled hasn't been tested in court, so your point is moot.
Several groups, including the ACLU (your old pals, I think - no, wait...) are itching to take this thing on.
I'm open to a modest bet. Other than having dark features, how does one "look like" an illegal immigrant? Racial profiling, which is specifically illegal, cannot be avoided. I suspect we'll see this in court pretty quickly.

tim zank
Wed, 04/28/2010 - 9:04am

LittleJohn asks "Other than having dark features, how does one

Kevin Knuth
Wed, 04/28/2010 - 12:07pm

Tim- I stand corrected...I was not aware you had a law degree, and therefore know more about the law than the AG of Utah.

tim zank
Wed, 04/28/2010 - 1:22pm

Kevin, you don't need a law degree to read a law. It would appear though (ironically) that you need to be a Democrat to read INTO a law what you want it to be.

You guys crack me up. Just admit it, you couldn't care less about right and wrong, legal or illegal you just want them all as voters and union members. What other possible reason could there be to allow a half million people to over run a state, break it's economy, and create the kidnap & murder capital of the world and ask everyone to just look the other way? Hell of a plan you guys have.

Wed, 04/28/2010 - 9:35pm

From Hot Air: Actual AP headline: