Arizona immigration law thread

Arizona's Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed a law yesterday that makes it "a state crime to be in the country illegally" and "requires local law enforcement to determine an individual's immigration status if an officer suspects that person is in the country illegally." Civil rights groups are already preparing federal lawsuits, and President Barack Obama called the bill "misguided", adding, “I’ve instructed members of my admininstration to closely monitor the situation and examine the civil rights and other implications of this legislation."

The American Civil Liberties Union explained why we should be outraged about this law:

The law creates new immigration crimes and penalties inconsistent with those in federal law, asserts sweeping authority to detain and transport persons suspected of violating civil immigration laws and prohibits speech and other expressive activity by persons seeking work. The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Arizona strongly condemn the governor’s decision to sign the unconstitutional law and are dismayed by her disregard for the serious damage it could cause to civil liberties and public safety in the state.[...]

The new law, which will not go into effect for more than 90 days, requires police agencies across Arizona to investigate the immigration status of every person they come across whom they have "reasonable suspicion" to believe is in the country unlawfully. To avoid arrest, citizens and immigrants will effectively have to carry their "papers" at all times. The law also makes it a state crime for immigrants to willfully fail to register with the Department of Homeland Security and carry registration documents. It further curtails the free speech rights of day laborers and encourages unchecked information sharing between government agencies.

Naturally, conservatives who claim to be for small government love the expansion of police powers in Arizona.

Representative Raul Grijalva, one of the leaders of the House Progressive Caucus, closed his Arizona offices yesterday following threatening phone calls. Grijalva also "called on businesses and groups looking for convention and meeting locations to boycott Arizona." Already yesterday the American Immigration Lawyers Association canceled plans to hold the group's fall national convention in Scottsdale. A petition has been created to urge California's state pension fund to "divest from all Arizona companies" and sell all Arizona real estate.

The law may never be enforced, depending on what happens with the federal lawsuits, but some people are predicting it will boost support for Democrats among Latino voters.

Share any relevant thoughts in this thread. For comic relief, I recommend reading the official statement from Arizona Hispanic Republicans. After criticizing the (Republican) state legislators who spearheaded the bill and the (Republican) governor who signed the bill, they say they are "ultimately holding President Obama accountable," because "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." That's quite a creative way to misdirect blame.

Tags: Arizona, Arizona immigration law, Barack Obama, Immigration Reform, jan brewer, raul grijalva (all tags)



This is blatantly unconstitutional

There is no specific definition of "reasonable suspicion"- vaguness.

This will put an undue burden not only on legal immigrants, but also US Citizens who law enforcement might consider illegal immigrants for whatever they decide their "reasonable suspicion" is...and knowing many cops in Arizona, "reasonable suspicion" will be defined as "outside while Mexican"

I think of my friend Val who lives in Goodyear, an American citizen of Mexican decent. What if she goes on a jog one morning without ID and cops stop her for whatever their "reasonable suspicion" is and asks her to prove her citizenship. That's a violation of her fourth amendment rights as an American citizen.

And you can go shove with BuckeyeBlogger because I know the American people are going to side with the Republicans on this and I couldn't care less...they're wrong...and if this law becomes a winning issue for Republicans, then that's a sad commentary on what our nation has become.

Furthermore, when the hell did did President Obama promise to pass an immigration law within 90 days of his presidency? You're lucky if you get an appropriations bill passed in 90 days!

by ND22 2010-04-24 12:08PM | 0 recs
RE: This is blatantly unconstitutional

Well it's always easier to blame BO than blame the GOP. I mean the republicans are scary. And mean.

by vecky 2010-04-24 12:18PM | 0 recs
Just a foot in the door

Obviously anti-american anti-libertarian and pro-assholicalness to the extreme.

Next step will be to fix the AZ mess (which implies that people of brown skin will need to carry around id documentation all the time). The solution?  Create a national id documentation that everyone will need to have on body at all times. There's no reason that those with brown skin should be the only ones controlled!

Although, that sounds too draconian, so the measure will move in small steps... first, create a national id system that will be said to only be replicating your social security number, to be used for employment; get the foot in the door.

Have trouble pushing it through? Make it partisan-- the rapid dogs can be counted on cut off their nose to spite their face in the name of partisanship everytime!

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-24 12:43PM | 0 recs
RE: Arizona immigration law thread

Do you remember those Latino "values voters" that Laura Ingrahm crowed about in 2004; the voting block that was going to hand the GOP a permanent majority? Well, we all knew the GOP couldn't get over their racism.

This law is repulsive, crypto-racist, and in my opinion, unconstitutional. Actually, that's pretty much par for the GOP course these days.

I liked this notion of civil disobedience (c/o Daily Kos) to protest the law: everyone, regardless of skin color, simply don't carry any ID on you. I hope it catches on.

The only thing, and it is a very small thing, that comforts this abomination of a law, is thew schadenfreude from the Arizona Latino Republicans. Keep dancing there, fellows.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-04-24 01:31PM | 0 recs
Now we know why King Tut moved to Babylonia

"He gave his life for tourism."



by JimR 2010-04-24 02:11PM | 0 recs
RE: Arizona immigration law thread

Hispanic Republcians in Arizona released a statement criticizing the GOP Governon and Legislators for the bill, but holding the President accountable for inaction on immigration reform.

A creative way to distract blame?

Yes, but it's also a spot on impression of a liberal blogger.

by spirowasright 2010-04-24 02:40PM | 2 recs
Several points

1)  No non-citizen, other than arguably a child brought here without the ability to consent, has any reasonable expectation of NOT getting picked up by the police and deported.  If you enter the country, you do so either with the qualified permission of the United States or in contempt of the permission of the United States.  For the most part, visas don't run out by surprise, it's not a shock.  Occasionally non-immigrant visa holders get their visas yanked early and arbitrarily but that's not the case with the bulk of the 500,000-odd unlawful entrants and lingerers in Arizona alone; most have either never had visas or have been out of status for a very, very long time.

Most Americans would consider it fair for Switzerland or Mexico or Russia or Ethiopia to jail and definitely to deport an unlawful American entrant or lingerer.  Accused unlawful entrants or lingerers deserve full due process of law but only in the same way that a motorist does in traffic court; we should not whine for those who get caught in a speed trap either.

2) Citizenship, LPR status and work visa should be a LOT easier to get than they are, but if I drive without a driver's license I will not get whiny and righteous about getting ticketed or jailed and neither should unlawful entrants and lingerers.  Paying taxes sucks but who can really generate much feeling for illegal economic migrants who expect to live free of direct taxation, federal and state?  When I cheat on my taxes or fail willfully to file, you would probably want me prosecuted or at least held accountable; when the bulk of 500,000 unlawful Arizonans do that, some would call me an asshole for mentioning the fact.  (There is an IRS "5th Amendment" form allowing taxpayers reporting illegal income while not disclosing its source; this form is almost never used by non-citizen undocumented income earners.)

3)  Ordinarily, we produce documentation to confirm our rights in a variety of areas of life, both to the government and to private entities.  If you own a car, you have a title.  If you rent an apartment, you have a key and a lease.  Insurance policy, high school diploma - ditto. Grown adults expect to document what matters most in their lives.  Citizenship or non-citizen authorization to enter or remain in this country are arguably no different.  I can understand citizens getting indignant at getting asked for their papers, but that's because it is not our custom; many of our NATO allies expect their citizens to bust out ID on request and we do not regard say France and Germany as tyrannical hellholes, rather as nice places to visit.

4)  Arizona's population is approximately 10% unlawful entrants or lingerers post-visa, the majority from Mexico of course but from many other countries as well.  They have one entire congressional district's worth of people who almost never pay income taxes, and in a relatively small, middle-income state.  Arizona has the misfortune of a porous international border and a statutory mandate to bear the social costs of these hundreds of thousands of undocumented, largely tax-evading residents, including medical care and social costs of crimes committed so often AGAINST them due to their unwillingness to report crimes. 

5)  The U.S. does have laws protecting people who have a well-founded fear of persecution on the basis of race, gender, politics, religion or other status in their home countries.  We should expand these laws, but require due process for entry and remaining, not getting your cousin in Yuma or Brighton Beach to whisk you in without papers.

Notwithstanding the foregoing I do think the law is stupid but not because I give a damn about any unlawful entrant into the United States.  I don't want us to Europeanize our citizens' relationship with the police.  But adult non-citizens whose entry and presence gives a finger to the laws of the United States? Spare me the violins.

by Bruce Godfrey 2010-04-24 03:19PM | 0 recs
This is about them

and because of fear of playing defense, liberals can't seem to make it clear it's not about the effect it has on illegal immigrants.

It's the rights of legal immigrants and US citizens to not have to be arrested for not carrying proper ID because a cop had a hunch that that person might be an illegal immigrant.

by ND22 2010-04-24 04:46PM | 0 recs
RE: Several points

<i>Paying taxes sucks but who can really generate much feeling for illegal economic migrants who expect to live free of direct taxation, federal and state?</i>


I'm sick of this bullshit meme. They pay sales taxes. Payroll taxes are deducted from their pay - they are usually too poor to pay extra income taxes. They pay property taxes through rent, just like anybody else.

by bay of arizona 2010-04-24 10:58PM | 0 recs
RE: Several points

So what your saying is we don't have to hire 16,000 additional IRS agents to go after these tax evaders?

by vecky 2010-04-25 01:52AM | 0 recs
Lets count all the ways this law is unconstitutional

Just off the top of my head:

Federal preemption

procedural due process, Substantive due process, vagueness

illegal search and seizure

forcing, with threat of civil actions, local law enforcement to enforce federal law (comendeering?, maybe a stretch since it is a state doing it)

equal protection

bonus points - i'm not aware of any other law in the country that allows police to be sued for not stopping/arresting people. generally, the cops don't have a legal duty to do that. not a constitutional thing though.

by jeopardy 2010-04-24 05:26PM | 0 recs

A dark day in the US.

by Charles Lemos 2010-04-24 10:38PM | 0 recs
This quite literally opens the door

for what will now be legalized profiling.  How does one have reasonable suspicion that, judging by looks, they are an illegal immigrant.  An illegal immigrant can just as easily be as white as McCain.  


Call me crazy, but I don't typically see illegal immigrants openly proclaiming their lack of documentation in the streets.  

But hey, I'm not from Arizona so maybe I'm wrong?  Doubtful

by Chuckie Corra 2010-04-25 07:47AM | 0 recs


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