# Arizona's New ID (Immigration) Law

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Sure. My direct implication is that democratic politicians are dropping the ball and moving from mere suspicion of incompetence, to outright proof of it. Passing a bill to find out what's in it? Lame excuses to justify not reading their bills? This is astoundingly egregious. No ideological tent should provide cover for this.

I think that's a great example of what happens when we bounce from one party's leadership to another for reasons that are mainly about shifting moderates and incumbent rejection, but the party that comes into leadership views it as an ideological mandate and an opportunity to start pushing through social reforms.

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I am not too familiar with the the law making process here, however weren't those that were accused of not having read the health care bill actually voting on it, whereas in the case of Arizona's law are not? I do agree that it is cheap to comment on something that one does not know the details of, though.

Yes. The hilarious part is that the same party did both. They voted on their own health care bill, without reading it, and then shot down and mischaracterized Arizona's bill, without reading it.

It seems like they have a reading problem. Surely they didn't go to government schools...? Being as that's a basic skill expected of a lawmaker, I'm highly concerned about it. How do I know they can write laws, if I'm not even sure they can read them?

The really insulting part about Arizona's bill, is they are being ignored by the federal executive in terms of the problems, the violence, they're experiencing in relation to illegal immigration and the drug war. Yet are being ridiculed by the same branch that hasn't even read their bill! Wow.

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And even more concerning, why do democrat law makers not reading laws, not bother you?

Since when does it not?

Not because they're on "your team", certainly not...

Since when are they "my team?"

why is the first question you asked in response to this, about "the other team"?

Might I suggest you go take some Xanax and then read my posts again? The level of intensity in your tone is somewhat ridiculous right now.

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Edit: Actually, ParanoiA is doing a fine job so I'll retract my statement here.

Edited by jryan
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I am still a bit unsure what new things this law actually provides. One this is apparently that during lawful stops etc. the ID and immigration status can be checked. But couldn't they do it before already? The only thing in this regard that I could think of is that they may also query those directly/indirectly involved. For instance during a car stop they may also check the immigration status of the passengers.

On politifact they also mentioned that e.g. an unkempt lawn or similar may trigger such a check as it would be during enforcement of local laws.

The other thing is that all immigrants now have to carry their papers with them and that apparently the officer now is to required to check in case of suspicion. It leaves enough wriggle room (I think) that it is unlikely that the police is not easily sued for not checking, but who knows?

Edit: apparently there is some more around on politifact. Gotta read it when I got a time slot http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2010/apr/28/arizona-immigration-law-fact-checked/

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With regards to a traffic stop, any person should have their driver's license, which is already considered based on the wording of the law, enough evidence to consider the person a lawful resident. Since you need a driver's license to drive, that's not an issue for lawful citizens, and citizens don't need to carry extra proof to prove their status.

However, a citizen does have the right to travel in a car without a license as a passenger.

If the car is pulled over, do these US citizens in the passenger seats have to carry extra documentation above and beyond other US citizens due to "suspicion" of the status?

My real concern really is the effect on US citizens and how one subset may be subjected to higher burdens than others.

People keep talking about what "immigrants have to carry anyway" but the concern really is what US citizens have to carry, and if it targets a specific demographic of citizens unfairly.

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Here is the page at the AZ state website explaining to legal residents and US citizens what is required of them:

http://www.arizonaguide.com/arizona-travel-info/identification-requirements

Note that the ID requirement doesn't even apply to a stop until the person has been arrested for some other criminal violation. In such a case, a legal resident or citizen that is caught on a B&E with no ID could be asked to provide proof of legal residence... which they would have if they are legal residence or citizens. But Obama's story of dad buying ice cream for his kids wouldn't be "harassed about their citizenship" unless they were first actually arrested for, say, robbing the Ben&Jerry's.

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Here is the page at the AZ state website explaining to legal residents and US citizens what is required of them:

http://www.arizonaguide.com/arizona-travel-info/identification-requirements

Note that the ID requirement doesn't even apply to a stop until the person has been arrested for some other criminal violation. In such a case, a legal resident or citizen that is caught on a B&E with no ID could be asked to provide proof of legal residence... which they would have if they are legal residence or citizens. But Obama's story of dad buying ice cream for his kids wouldn't be "harassed about their citizenship" unless they were first actually arrested for, say, robbing the Ben&Jerry's.

I'm having a little trouble understanding this part, can you help me?

3. What types of documents do I need to travel to and throughout Arizona?

The new law does not require U.S. citizens to carry identification. The new law merely requires aliens to carry registration documents that they are already required to carry under federal law. Under the new law, law enforcement officers may only inquire about immigration status if there is first a lawful stop, detention or arrest for a violation of some other law, and then the officer has reasonable suspicion that that you are an alien unlawfully present in the United States.

This states you are not required if you are a US Citizen to carry identification. However, it goes on to say during a lawful stop, or detention/arrest an officer may inquire about your immigration status.

So what happens when a US Citizen does not prove they are a citizen during such a stop? Maybe they are a passenger in a car, and legally have no need to carry ID. The FAQ leaves out what happens when, as a US Citizen, you are suspected of being illegal and cannot prove your innocence.

Are you going to be detained while it is determined? How long does it take? It states directly that it "does not require U.S. citizens to carry identification" yet then lays out the consequences if you don't, without explaining what happens while your status is affirmed.

Can you help that make sense to me?

Also, is this:

[lawful stop], [detention] or [arrest for a violation of some other law]

or is it:

[lawful stop for a violation of some other law], [detention for a violation of some other law] or [arrest for a violation of some other law]

It looks to me that the "for a violation of some other law" only applies to the arrest condition, not the others, since lawful stops can be conducted without a violation of some other law occurring. The way it reads, you do not need to be violating any laws to be asked to prove your citizenship.

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The same thing happens to those people that happens to me when I am pulled over and don't have my drivers license or proof of insurance. They'll be required to provide that identification. Well, not exactly... I have to pay a fine, they won't.

If they don't want that inconvenience then they can simply carry their ID with them.

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The same thing happens to those people that happens to me when I am pulled over and don't have my drivers license or proof of insurance. They'll be required to provide that identification. Well, not exactly... I have to pay a fine, they won't.

If they don't want that inconvenience then they can simply carry their ID with them.

Why would you need a driver's license or proof of insurance if you are a passenger?

More importantly, what is the "inconvenience" we are talking about? How much inconvenience are you subjected to if they decide you have to prove you're a citizen?

The key issue is that US Citizens don't have to prove their citizens to every cop that stops them on the street. Immigrants do need to provide proof they have legal status.

The result is someone has to prove who they are to prove they have the right to not prove who they are. Does that seem right to you?

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The result is someone has to prove who they are to prove they have the right to not prove who they are. Does that seem right to you?

...a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person, ...

So if someone says "I'm a citizen of the US and I don't need to show you ID", then is harassing them further reasonable, or practicable? Seems like both answers are bad: if "no" then this law seems rather toothless, if "yes" then it impinges on the freedoms of US citizens.

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I love this bit from the Neal Boortz show the other day. This is Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon (a Democrat and opponent of the new law) speaking out on what he feels is what brought all this about:

0guvYJk0VtM

Boortz's comment:

Never mind that Arizona is facing a full-fledged crisis. The Mexican' date=' Latino, Latin American .. whatever you want to call it .. invasion is costing Arizona $2.7 billion a year. The kidnappings, the rapes, the murders in Arizona cities are so bad that the state has asked for the National Guard to step in. So when the federal government refuses to enforce its own law, Arizona takes responsibility. It isn't going to sit around and cry and wait for the federal government. It isn't going to stand by and watch its citizens be murdered and its taxpayers be drained at their expense. It is going to do what a government should do - protect its citizens. What is so wrong with this concept?? I cannot, for the life of me, understand why this is such a terrible concept to liberals. If the purpose of government is not to protect its citizens, then what else is it there to do? If you are a liberal, the answer to that question is as follows: write entitlement checks, make everything and everyone equal, and redistribute the wealth. Once people realized that they could use the ballot box as an instrument to plunder other people's pockets, we were doomed.[/quote'] Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged Here's another one I ran across that I got a chuckle out of: President Obama is planning to give the commencement address at a high school in Kalamazoo, Michigan. You may have heard about it on the news -- it was a school that won a contest for this. Even better, the President plans to shake the hand of every graduating senior. Wow, what a privilege! Only one hitch: Apparently in order to shake the president's hand you have to provide the following information to the Secret Service: 1. Full Name 2. Birthdate 3. Social Security Number 4. Citizenship status Sound familiar? I guess it's a good thing the commencement isn't taking place in California, or the LA city council might have to boycott the event! ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites Never mind that Arizona is facing a full-fledged crisis. The Mexican' date=' Latino, Latin American .. whatever you want to call it .. invasion is costing Arizona$2.7 billion a year. The kidnappings, the rapes, the murders in Arizona cities are so bad that the state has asked for the National Guard to step in.

So when the federal government refuses to enforce its own law, Arizona takes responsibility. It isn't going to sit around and cry and wait for the federal government. It isn't going to stand by and watch its citizens be murdered and its taxpayers be drained at their expense. It is going to do what a government should do - protect its citizens. What is so wrong with this concept?? I cannot, for the life of me, understand why this is such a terrible concept to liberals. If the purpose of government is not to protect its citizens, then what else is it there to do? If you are a liberal, the answer to that question is as follows: write entitlement checks, make everything and everyone equal, and redistribute the wealth. Once people realized that they could use the ballot box as an instrument to plunder other people's pockets, we were doomed. [/quote']

Why is it that whenever someone does something in a horribly badly, they decry that people condemn them for trying to do anything?

Yes, Arizona needs to protect it's citizens, and the federal government needs to be taken to task for them to do their job too. I don't think there is any problem with enacting incredibly strict laws regarding illegal immigrants. Some people do have a problem with that I know, but they can bitch about it from San Fransisco. But just because those people make ridiculous arguments doesn't mean there aren't genuine concerns with the civil rights issues in this law.

Maybe I'm completely off, but I think most of the ire caused by this law is that it creates a burden on a specific group of law abiding US citizens.

Send people who hire illegals to jail for life without parole. Allow determination of legal status be part of any arrest. However, the law as passed does appear to put a singular and undue pressure on US Citizens of specific descent.

Is it too much to ask to clean it up a little so as to not infringe on the rights of US citizens?

The way I see it, it's the fringe of both sides (those who would have no problem invading the civil liberties of US citizens if they are immigrants, as well as those who'd hold Arizona hostage in an ideological war to completely open the borders) that are the "enemy" in finding a equitable solution to the problems Arizona faces.

If Arizona can mend the fence with people who oppose the law solely for the few conditions that violate civil liberties, than maybe there can be a larger consensus in developing real solutions that can marginalize the fringe agendas.

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I don't think there is any problem with enacting incredibly strict laws regarding illegal immigrants. Some people do have a problem with that I know, but they can bitch about it from San Fransisco. But just because those people make ridiculous arguments doesn't mean there aren't genuine concerns with the civil rights issues in this law.

Then why when President Calderone chastised this country in its own legislative house yesterday did every Democrat in the room give him a standing ovation?

I don't think you're wrong about where the middle ground is located, but the public outcry over the Arizona law has made it quite clear that ANY effort to make things more difficult for illegal aliens in this country will be met with SEVERE resistance by mainstream media, most Democrats in office, and vast numbers of mainstream, relatively moderate people in this country. They may be the minority, but they're not extremists, padren.

Perhaps that's due in part to the increasing divide and lack of ability for people to recognize that it will take compromise by both sides to fix this. But that lack of recognition is pretty obvious at the moment. I doubt that even as much as 25% of this country recognizes what kind of compromise this is going to take.

I'm not even sure the Arizona law has a moderate-majority support anymore. I believe the Arizona polls show most of them support it, and I reported a country-wide poll earlier that I believe showed 59% in support, but another poll last week showed only 42% in favor (though only half that amount was opposed, so perhaps it was a phrasing thing).

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Only one hitch: Apparently in order to shake the president's hand you have to provide the following information to the Secret Service:

1. Full Name

2. Birthdate

3. Social Security Number

4. Citizenship status

Sound familiar? I guess it's a good thing the commencement isn't taking place in California, or the LA city council might have to boycott the event!

That's the same gambit George Will tried recently, when he said that you have to show ID to enter a federal building. (You generally also give up your 4th amendment rights when doing so.)

Shaking the president's hand is not a right, it's a privilege (as you say), and it is also a voluntary act taken by the individual. They can choose not to participate, and not supply the information. The comparison is not apt.

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Then why when President Calderone chastised this country in its own legislative house yesterday did every Democrat in the room give him a standing ovation?

That's a bit of a simplification, he "agreed with our president" in a statement criticizing the new Arizona law - he was not chastising the country.

This is the longest version of the video I could find (shorter here)

It's also worth noting he did not condemn the law for making life harder on immigrants, but for the risks associated with racial profiling.

I don't think you're wrong about where the middle ground is located, but the public outcry over the Arizona law has made it quite clear that ANY effort to make things more difficult for illegal aliens in this country will be met with SEVERE resistance by mainstream media, most Democrats in office, and vast numbers of mainstream, relatively moderate people in this country. They may be the minority, but they're not extremists, padren.

I'm sorry if I implied that the proponents of the Arizona law as-is are extremists, that was not my intention. I was trying to say they are also moderates, also on a middle ground much like many of the opponents of the law. The extremists I was referring to are those who think the law doesn't go far enough, as well as those who just want to throw open the borders and give everyone healthcare.

My point was that if the proponent-moderates could hear what the opponent-moderates are saying over all the background noise, they'd realize there are only a few small points of contention that would need to be resolved for both groups to agree with the law.

Perhaps that's due in part to the increasing divide and lack of ability for people to recognize that it will take compromise by both sides to fix this. But that lack of recognition is pretty obvious at the moment. I doubt that even as much as 25% of this country recognizes what kind of compromise this is going to take.

Something stood out from 60 minutes a few weeks ago:

They died traveling to America in search of a life better than their home countries could offer." Moments later' date=' Pelley explained: "While the canal is a death trap, it is also a lifeline for the nation....[u']Two thirds of our winter fruits and vegetables are grown with this water[/u]. But half of the people who pick those crops are illegal immigrants. To get the jobs created by the canal, they cross the canal, usually at night on makeshift rafts or using plastic jugs for flotation."

Text from here

The story was more about a canal but the statistics regarding 2/3 of winter crops & 1/2 of the labor being illegal (and this is California, not AZ) I can't help but to wonder just what the heck is going on if this is true.

How can we be that dependent on illegal labor?

I don't think a lot of the opposition to Arizona's direction is really as severe as it looks. While the civil liberties angle does cause a real concern (and wouldn't need a lot to address to revise the AZ law) the broader debate is whether we can quell the tide until we quell our appetite for illegal labor.

If the 60 Minutes stats are accurate it would seem our problems are far more systemic and go a lot deeper than trouble identifying illegals on the street. If those factors can be addressed, people will be more open to compromise in this debate.

As a side note:

Since immigration is a Federal issue, would it be fair for the state to pass the unpaid bills for illegals onto the Federal government? I think it would be at least fair to split the difference, and have the Feds commit to certain goals with time-frames, where failure to achieve would result in 75% of the tab going to the Feds. At least for "required care" such as emergency medical, and not for any city deemed a "sanctuary city" of course.

I'm not sure if it could be worked out well enough to be practical, but it seems like it would help put the bill in the hands of those responsible for the issue.

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That's the same gambit George Will tried recently, when he said that you have to show ID to enter a federal building. (You generally also give up your 4th amendment rights when doing so.)

Shaking the president's hand is not a right, it's a privilege (as you say), and it is also a voluntary act taken by the individual. They can choose not to participate, and not supply the information. The comparison is not apt.

That is not a compelling argument as the police have a long standing right (and duty) to search people when they have reason to suspect they are breaking the law. The rules regarding search and seizure are well established, and in the vast majority of cases the legal system maintains a fair administration of the law.

In the case of this law, requesting identification is no different, and can only be done when the person is suspected of another crime first. The law is very clear.

So the hand wringing being done over this law makes no sense. In the case of the car full of people: if it is pulled over for speeding the police have the right to ask the driver for ID, but if the rest of the passengers are doing nothing wrong then the officer has no cause under this law to request ID. If they are all in a stolen car, or there is a smell of drugs, or something else occurs that makes the passenger a suspect in a crime then they would come under scrutiny as per this law.

I am truly mystified by how otherwise clear thinking people can spin this very clear law into Nazis and Concentration camps in their head.

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I saw in the news that if you claim to be an US citizen, they are not allowed to detain you. If they find out later that you have been lying they may prosecute you with criminal charges. However, I do not know what would prohibit anyone from claiming citizenship. I am not sure how accurate the local news are, though.

Padren, according to the bill the stop, detention or arrest have only to be in conjunction with the enforcement of a law of ordinance. Essentially violations of a law (as stated in the arizonaguide) do not have to have occurred yet.

Edited by CharonY
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Originally Posted by Neal Boortz

Never mind that Arizona is facing a full-fledged crisis. The Mexican, Latino, Latin American .. whatever you want to call it .. invasion is costing Arizona \$2.7 billion a year. The kidnappings, the rapes, the murders in Arizona cities are so bad that the state has asked for the National Guard to step in.

So when the federal government refuses to enforce its own law, Arizona takes responsibility. It isn't going to sit around and cry and wait for the federal government. It isn't going to stand by and watch its citizens be murdered and its taxpayers be drained at their expense. It is going to do what a government should do - protect its citizens. What is so wrong with this concept?? I cannot, for the life of me, understand why this is such a terrible concept to liberals. If the purpose of government is not to protect its citizens, then what else is it there to do? If you are a liberal, the answer to that question is as follows: write entitlement checks, make everything and everyone equal, and redistribute the wealth. Once people realized that they could use the ballot box as an instrument to plunder other people's pockets, we were doomed.

I posted a similar comment elsewhere recently: whenever a non-X says (in effect) "Here's what X's think" it's pretty good odds that you are about to be treated to a strawman.

Kidnappings, rapes and murders. With only an implied tie to illegal immigration. I have yet to see a compelling argument that in the absence of illegal immigrants we would be free of these crimes, and of illegal drugs. What does this particular rant have to do with the topic, other than to bash at a pinata strawman?

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It's also worth noting he did not condemn the law for making life harder on immigrants, but for the risks associated with racial profiling.

Which his own country apparently does a lot more severely than the US, but my point was that Democrats gave him a standing ovation after he chastised this country for one of its state laws. These Democrats are the people in charge of this country right now, and they gave a standing ovation to a man who criticized what this country is currently doing.

In other words, they felt it more important to make an ideological statement than to stand in unity with their fellow countrymen and their concerns. (And these guys are supposed to be superior to Republicans? And people wonder why some on the right often accuse Democrats of being unpatriotic?)

At least Michelle Obama had the good grace to answer that little girl's question with "well we'll have to work on that", instead of the "we're on YOUR side and we think our own countrymen are racists" message that Democratic leadership gave with that standing-o.

My point was that if the proponent-moderates could hear what the opponent-moderates are saying over all the background noise, they'd realize there are only a few small points of contention that would need to be resolved for both groups to agree with the law.

I agree completely. That's the main problem.

The story was more about a canal but the statistics regarding 2/3 of winter crops & 1/2 of the labor being illegal (and this is California, not AZ) I can't help but to wonder just what the heck is going on if this is true.

How can we be that dependent on illegal labor?

I don't think a lot of the opposition to Arizona's direction is really as severe as it looks. While the civil liberties angle does cause a real concern (and wouldn't need a lot to address to revise the AZ law) the broader debate is whether we can quell the tide until we quell our appetite for illegal labor.

Well I agree here as well, and I think this is also where I have an odd confluence of agreement with "labor" in the sense that if we were willing to pay what food and basic services are ACTUALLY worth then we wouldn't have such a demand for illegal aliens. People are generally lazy and take the path of least resistance, which is why comprehensive, thoughtful leadership from the top is so important.

(I saw that 60 Minutes piece, btw, and I couldn't understand why it actually made sense to anyone to not have the same safety features as any canal anywhere else in the country would have. Dumb and inhumane. We in society can have a rigorous debate about whether local governments can participate in immigration enforcement, but not at the level of basic physical safety!)

Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged
I saw in the news that if you claim to be an US citizen, they are not allowed to detain you. If they find out later that you have been lying they may prosecute you with criminal charges. However, I do not know what would prohibit anyone from claiming citizenship. I am not sure how accurate the local news are, though.

I don't know about Arizona, but there was an interesting case in Georgia recently where a college student with an expired Visa was granted an extension by the State Department, but then arrested by local officials and is now awaiting deportation. Georgia does not have a law like Arizona (yet), so it raised a question in a lot of people's minds about how they could prompt a deportation.

Essentially what happened was that during her period of illegality she gave false information to a police officer asking for her address during a routine traffic stop (obviously to avoid being arrested and deported). This lead to an outstanding arrest warrant which was exercised, again all through the routine operation of local law enforcement (standard procedure). But the arrest caused her to lose her visa extension and now she's awaiting deportation.

That's a sequence of events so odd it might make Joseph Heller squirm, but I imagine this sort of thing happens all the time. The point being that just having all these different policies and situations is a big part of the problem -- just getting everyone on the same page would go a long way to both fixing the problem and resolving our dispute with Mexico.

Some have even gone as far as to point out that the new Arizona law may actually form a funny sort of path to citizenship, because the act of local law enforcement stepping in will cause some illegals to discover that they could have applied for work visas after all, and can then do so.

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I saw that 60 Minutes piece, btw, and I couldn't understand why it actually made sense to anyone to not have the same safety features as any canal anywhere else in the country would have. Dumb and inhumane. We in society can have a rigorous debate about whether local governments can participate in immigration enforcement, but not at the level of basic physical safety!

Because there's a pretty sizable number of people in our populace who feel it is our duty to treat it like a moat and load it with rusty razor blades and alligators. I agree with your point entirely, but the question was not rhetorical.

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That is not a compelling argument as the police have a long standing right (and duty) to search people when they have reason to suspect they are breaking the law. The rules regarding search and seizure are well established, and in the vast majority of cases the legal system maintains a fair administration of the law.

In the case of this law, requesting identification is no different, and can only be done when the person is suspected of another crime first. The law is very clear.

So the hand wringing being done over this law makes no sense. In the case of the car full of people: if it is pulled over for speeding the police have the right to ask the driver for ID, but if the rest of the passengers are doing nothing wrong then the officer has no cause under this law to request ID. If they are all in a stolen car, or there is a smell of drugs, or something else occurs that makes the passenger a suspect in a crime then they would come under scrutiny as per this law.

I am truly mystified by how otherwise clear thinking people can spin this very clear law into Nazis and Concentration camps in their head.

The danger, as I see it, is that the police already do not follow very clear laws. That despite the warning that racial profiling is not to be used, that it will be used anyway. This is not a hypothetical or manufactured fear, because profiling already happens. So no, voluntarily providing this information for a security check for certain specific activities does not fall under the same scenario. The police routinely violate peoples' civil rights*. To think it will not happen here is, IMO, fantasy.

*just read this latest example today

http://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/potty-mouths-steer-clear-pennsylvania

http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/news.aspx?id=22946

(Followup should probably go to a new thread)

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The danger, as I see it, is that the police already do not follow very clear laws. That despite the warning that racial profiling is not to be used, that it will be used anyway. This is not a hypothetical or manufactured fear, because profiling already happens. So no, voluntarily providing this information for a security check for certain specific activities does not fall under the same scenario. The police routinely violate peoples' civil rights*. To think it will not happen here is, IMO, fantasy.

*just read this latest example today

http://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/potty-mouths-steer-clear-pennsylvania

http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/news.aspx?id=22946

(Followup should probably go to a new thread)

Well, if your argument is that the law will lead to occasions where a police officer won't follow the law then I would ask you what law does that argument not apply to?

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Because there's a pretty sizable number of people in our populace who feel it is our duty to treat it like a moat and load it with rusty razor blades and alligators. I agree with your point entirely, but the question was not rhetorical.

I agree.

And I think there's a larger point here regarding the wisdom of local law enforcement involving itself in immigration matters -- this is informative. But it's not eliminating, IMO, it just points out the need for careful delineation of responsibilities. Let local law arrest people for immigration violations; don't let local legislation put people at risk in order to make their own immigration policy.

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Which his own country apparently does a lot more severely than the US, but my point was that Democrats gave him a standing ovation after he chastised this country for one of its state laws. These Democrats are the people in charge of this country right now, and they gave a standing ovation to a man who criticized what this country is currently doing.

In other words, they felt it more important to make an ideological statement than to stand in unity with their fellow countrymen and their concerns. (And these guys are supposed to be superior to Republicans? And people wonder why some on the right often accuse Democrats of being unpatriotic?)

I don't see how this is unpatriotic. If they gave a standing ovation to him saying Arizona had no right to pass this law or condemning our system through which it was passed, then I'd agree with you. The Democrats may be in charge of the country, but most are very critical of the Arizona law and are not in charge of that.

We do have checks and balances, which means the Arizona law can be challenged in the SCOTUS if claims of violations of constitutional rights are made.

While I have been clear as to why I criticize the law (and I am not a proponent of repealing it, just making the minor adjustments to clear up any constitutional issues) I don't think Arizona is wrong for trying to pass laws to solve the problem.

I think they'll have to refine it, and it may face the checks and balances in place, but the system is still working. I don't think the criticisms that received the standing ovation were overreaching. He made his views on the law clear, he didn't imply they were illegitimate or that our system had failed.

I'm not saying that none of the Democrats are guilty of pandering for demographic support, and where that occurs I do find it distasteful. I don't think this qualifies as unpatriotic though.

At least Michelle Obama had the good grace to answer that little girl's question with "well we'll have to work on that", instead of the "we're on YOUR side and we think our own countrymen are racists" message that Democratic leadership gave with that standing-o.

The "racist card" is kind of touchy when it comes to the Arizona law. It could be said that a law that singles out a specific minority is racist, without actually saying the people who passed it are racist. I do not like the racist card being played, and I'd prefer anyone calling the law "racist" to consider using a less loaded word.

A law that singles people out by race is technically racist. I think effort went into this law to try to prevent it from being racist and the lawmakers are intentionally trying to make sure it isn't racist, but it still has holes that cause people to be singled out by race.

I hope only a fringe actually are calling Arizonans racist though.

Well I agree here as well, and I think this is also where I have an odd confluence of agreement with "labor" in the sense that if we were willing to pay what food and basic services are ACTUALLY worth then we wouldn't have such a demand for illegal aliens. People are generally lazy and take the path of least resistance, which is why comprehensive, thoughtful leadership from the top is so important.

(I saw that 60 Minutes piece, btw, and I couldn't understand why it actually made sense to anyone to not have the same safety features as any canal anywhere else in the country would have. Dumb and inhumane. We in society can have a rigorous debate about whether local governments can participate in immigration enforcement, but not at the level of basic physical safety!)

I agree on both counts. I think while it is dumb and inhumane for the local government to ignore the need for safety measures, it speaks to just how much stress the issue is putting on some communities. I get the impression they are making poor judgments as a result of the severe stress that the immigration problem places on them, and the lack of relief from the federal level.

It doesn't excuse it, but it does make sense that stress causes poor judgment.

With regard to the labor side, I think a lot of progressives see the "crackdown on the streets" element of immigration reform as almost a "tough on crime" political stance, where people get used for political hay. It's hard to condone a law that makes life harder on people who already have it really hard, when we know full well that for every new person sent back to Mexico, the US companies that harvest our very food are going to just try harder to get more up here out of necessity.

They have slots to fill on a budget of illegal labor, and no government body is interfering with their illegal practice leaving it all but condoned.

On an enforcement level, when two thirds of all our winter crops are from an area where you could throw a rock and have a 50/50 chance of hitting an illegal immigrant in the act of working illegally, how is this difficult to enforce?

I have no idea how to conceptualize the amount of incompetence required to fail at this, which makes it really hard to assume anything other than complicity.

So if we are going to allow these companies to drum up and fill their ranks with illegals how do we crack down exclusively on the illegals when they get here? It seems like they end up paying for our own refusal to examine our own actions in actively sustaining this problem. Harsh anti-illegal laws without the addressing of the people who want them here comes across as pure pandering to those who prefer to be in denial.

Now, that isn't an entirely objective viewpoint, and it ignores a lot of real issues that Arizona is trying to tackle, but it makes the reaction to the law they just passed a lot more understandable.

It's not about bleeding hearts that want to give everyone amnesty - no matter how much the bleeding hearts want to paint it that way. It's about where to start on the issue of personal responsibility at home and with even a little progress on that side, people would be a lot more open to stricter laws on the other side.

My suspicion is a little bit of cooperation from the labor and the law side would go a long way to creating a "zipper effect" of consensus and break the current log jam.

Some have even gone as far as to point out that the new Arizona law may actually form a funny sort of path to citizenship, because the act of local law enforcement stepping in will cause some illegals to discover that they could have applied for work visas after all, and can then do so.

Then they'd be able to get in line and protest the illegals stealing their jawbs by working for ridiculously low wages!

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