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Ok let's talk about this Arizona Immigration thing.

First off... I am still studying and reading... I haven't made up my mind yet.

1. I have read the bill (here) please do if you haven't and want to discuss here. PLEASE don't let Glenn Beck or Eric Holder or Fox News or some Los Angeles school district be who makes up your mind.

2. I guess I am at a loss as to why it is different than any other bill that tells Law Enforcement officers to investigate people they suspect of committing a crime.

3. The Bill specifically states that "racial profiling" types of behavior are not acceptable.

4. I completely understand that some Law Enforcement officers will in fact "racially profile" people because they are just jerks. They already do it for Gang crimes, in the name of terrorism, RICO statutes. Just like people profile Cops as power tripping racists. Racial profiling is not a reason not to enforce laws.

5. I do admit that I think illegal immigration is a big issue and needs to be dealt with. This may be swaying my views on the Arizona Law.

6. I also admit that I think one of the biggest things that needs to be done is securing our international borders. This too may be swaying my views.

7. I also firmly believe there are huge steps that need to be taken in streamlining the process for legal immigrants to get into this country. I actually think the red tape for Legal immigrants seeking a job is the biggest cause of illegal immigration.

My point in this is I truly don't understand the outrage. Currently if Federal aw Enforcement suspects someone of being in this country illegally, they can go and arrest those people and deal with them as law-breakers. Now the State of Arizona's Law enforcement officials can do the same and the country is up in arms.

I promise I want to learn and will listen to those that disagree with me if you discuss it and don't scream and yell and call me Racist, because I am not.

If you comment on here that this law will in fact do all these detrimental things... please back it up with something.


  1. I think we all agree that America is a vast melting pot of cultures traditions and ideas, that is part of why we are so great. But... the majority of those immigrants came here legaly, what do you think Ellis Island was for? I support Arizona 100% I think two things need to be done, first.. if someone wants to come here thats great but it has to be done legaly, second.. I think we need to limit the amount of legal aliens that are allowed into the country or else our population will be more than our borders can handle. And last but not least I am all for being proud of your heritage and culture, but if you are in America there is a reason why, and you need to first learn our language which is english, second if you want to fly a flag how bout fly the American flag, after all you are in your newly adopted country. Be proud of her, love her, and defend her and her traditions or stay in your own country.

  2. I'm concerned about the racial profiling that will undoubtedly happen to people who don't happen to have identification on them and are perhaps wrongly accused of something. I know I and people I know have been questioned by police for things, but haven't actually broken a law. If I were brown and didn't have ID on me (believe it or not, some people don't even carry their wallet everywhere all the time, and some people don't drive), then I would have gone to jail literally for nothing.

    I know that's very specific, but I bet situations like that will happen more than you think.

    And Scott, natural born American citizens of the United States of America are allowed to speak out against the government, protest, generally bad mouth the United States in any way they want, thanks to freedom of speech. But you want to tell an immigrant that they must speak our language (honestly, if they don't, just don't TALK TO THEM), they can't hang a Mexican flag, and they can't publicly celebrate their heritage?

    I'm really way over the whole "If you wanna live in 'merica, you gotta do X" argument. If you wanna live in America, fulfill the legal obligations in doing so, then you could wear a sombrero and speak Klingon if you want. Honestly, is any of it that big of an inconvenience to you?

  3. Mitchell,

    Isnt the Arizona law just asking people to

    "If you wanna live in America, fulfill the legal obligations in doing so, then you could wear a sombrero and speak Klingon if you want."

  4. They're asking people to be ready to prove their citizenship any time they happen to have an interaction with the police and they are brown.

    I believe that one should have to prove their citizenship (or legal status in the US) when they apply for a job. When they apply for government aid of any sort. Heck, when they try to buy a house or car.

    But I don't believe that they should have to be ready to do so on the spot with the consequence of going to jail if they aren't able to.

  5. Your first sentence is the problem I have Mitchell...

    The bill gives the police only the right to act if they have a suspicion of them being here illegally.

    Let's back up... did you know that right now local and state authorities have no right to act if they suspect or even completely know that someone is here illegally. Before this bill if local or state authorities find any type of illegal immigrants they had no rights to do anything.

    They had to call INS and if they didn't come nothing was done. According to AZ ( I don't know) there was alot times that INS didn't have the resources to come or didn't come for whatever reason.

    This bill was not written (if you read it) to persecute anyone... it was written to give the State and Local authorities the ability to enforce laws that already 100% exist.

    The opponents of it are playing a race card that is specifically forbidden in the bill. Why would race be any more of an issue with Local and State law enforcement that it already is with the Feds when they are available?

    Again if someone that has red the bill and understands the laws wants to bring up actual issues with it... I promise I am open to discuss.

  6. I can comment on this with somewhat of an idea of what it really takes to come to this county legally since I actually worked in the field for a few years for the State Dept. As for the red tape to get in country legally, it isn't really that complicated, but the number of illegals makes it harder for those trying to do so. Its a numbers game. Our country prides itself on diversity and we try to bring immigrants to the country that are "under represented" via the Diversity Visa. Of course that limits the number of Visa's granted to say Mexicans for instance. As for family based immigration, again, not too hard but must wait for numbers. Actually read a fantastic story about how easily undesirables are using the "legal" means of immigrating because it is easy. Here it is if you would like to read it . I can tell you that legal immigrants face little resistance when they stand in front of a consular officer, having been a person doing the interviewing, often suspecting a false story or history and being told to just issue. I think Arizona has made the correct steps to draw the attention to the problem. My husband and I are residents of Arizona, and trust me when I tell you it is a big problem and that state bears the burden in this case, not the feds. If you read the bill it also has a course for those "profiled" to sue if it was deemed they were in fact victims. If I am stopped at a sobriety check point I must show my drivers license and registration, in every state I have ever lived in. When I lived overseas I was even identified with a different plate on my car. Many countries have much stricter laws and enforce them with vigor. We have borders that can be walked across and are, everyday.
    I must address Mitchell about the refusal to let immigrants fly their flag, I totally disagree with that, I think recent events have been the refusal to let Americans wear their flag. Yes, I too have heard comments all too often about not speaking the language and that does bother me a bit, since I lived in Europe, Africa and Asia and never really mastered the language. I would say that if I had planned to remain in those countries I would have had to assimilate to the language and not demanded anything special from them nor would I have received it. One of the main issues is trying to secure the borders, that must be done before anything else is decided as far as amnesty and things of that nature. PS. My father was a 1st generation American.

  7. I cannot say I have mixed feelings on this issue. If you are here illegally, you broke the law...that simple. If you have figured out a way to stay here, while still in illegal status, do what you are required to do to gain your legal status. I have had the pleasure of traveling to various parts of the world and I have taken the time to learn the different languages I needed while I was visiting. I went on a Visa. I never once thought to hang my country's flag outside the window of the vehicle I was riding in. I would have been arrested if I had.

    Here in Wyoming, when the illegals go home our economy will improve and our unemployment will drop significantly. It is not just the Hispanics that have the jobs, it is also the workers from other countries our own Government encourages to come here on work Visas. They let their Visas expire and yet, they keep their job. While a majority of the "local" (born and raised here) are looking for work. I just don't get it.

    I also feel that this is getting out of hand as far as the tension that is building up. I do not agree with the "Flaunt your Flag" day. To me it is the wording. "Flaunt", is antagonizing and egotistical. Why couldn't it have been called "Display your Flag?" To me, unnecessary negativity is now being brought on by the great people of this great nation.

  8. I don't understand any of the hub-ub simply because our law (I live in AZ) isn't anything more than what is already on the federal books. With 9-11 STILL fresh on everyone's minds, I don't understand why ANY American would want ANYONE here illegally. This is not a race issue, it is a legal issue.

  9. Very well put, FitterTwit.

  10. I just want to stress that I am not in favor of illegal immigrants being here.

    My concern is the possibility of United States citizens that may be arrested simply for not being able to immediately provide necessary documentation. And the fact that it won't happen to a white person for suspicion of being Canadian doesn't help it sit any better with me.

    I just can't get behind it. And having Joe Arpaio in a position of authority in AZ doesn't help me feel any better about it. That guy is a megadick.

    Here's a story about a man who showed his driver's license and social security number, but was still detained for not having his birth certificate (which, I know I don't carry at all times). And this is from before the bill passed.

    I honestly believe that this is going to happen a lot more than you think now that this has passed, and that, for me, takes away from the other justifications. I'm not comfortable with the concept of American citizens sitting in jail because they were not able to immediately show proper documentation to counter "reasonable suspicion" about their immigration status (read: brown skin).

    I have a lot of family in El Paso, TX. If this bill were to pass in Texas, then some of my cousins, who are half Hispanic, could run the risk of going to jail simply because of a lack of immediately-available paper work. I can't abide.

  11. This law is so legally, morally, and ethically troubling, I am surprised by the tenor of the discourse in the blogpost and the comments. It is impossible to enforce this law without racial profiling, no matter what the law says (as Cody admits). It takes all discretion out of the hands of police officers…it “requires” local police to demand people’s papers and arrest those who can’t immediately prove their status. I never knew their was a requirement to be affirmatively prove your citizenship. Indeed, everyone when questioned by the police has the right to remain silent. Now, you can be stopped on the street for “suspicion of being here illegally” (whatever that means) and arrested unless you provide documentation. I never knew it was against the law to walk down the street with proof of citizenship. It is now in Arizona.

    To answer Cody’s questions, the Feds do not stop people on the street for “looking” like they are undocumented…they determine it by raids on workplace, if the individuals are picked up for another crime, or if they are in the act of coming in illegally or similar acts (running across the border, being transported in well known human trafficking areas, purchasing fake documents, etc). This law goes waaaaay past what an INS officer could do.

    Indeed, this law will devastate community policing. The primary purpose of local police is not their to enforce Federal immigration laws (we have ICE to do that), they are there to investigate crimes. All individuals in the United States, citizen, visitor, or undocumented, are protected by those laws. No one can be raped, beat, robbed, etc. Now, if a young undocumented immigrant is raped, the police investigating are “required” to demand proof of citizenship of the victim if the suspect she is undocumented, and arrest her if she is no. How many crimes against undocumented immigrants will be reported now…this law will simply invite more predatory acts on an already disenfranchised and vulnerable group

    The use of 9-11 as a justification by “FitterTwit” is absolutely nuts…acts of terrorism are committed by citizens and those here legally all the time, look at the Time Square bomber, Timothy McVeigh, the murder of Doctor Tiller, the Fort Hood shootings, etc. Indeed all of the of the 19 men who hijacked planes on September 11th entered the United States on a tourist, or student visa. How does this new law affect those acts of terror at all?

    I don’t even understand this “fly the flag” thread…what in the world are you folks talking about?

    I could go on and on, but frankly don’t have the time to explain the system of justice and fairness that we have in this Country and our history of majority rule while protecting the rights of the minority.

    I will close with one question that I would appreciate supporters of this bill answer.

    (1) Can anyone tell me what suspicion of being in the country illegally looks like? If two people who look very similar, are dressed exactly alike, walking down the street, but one is undocumented, how do you have suspicion that one is here legally or not?

    While I appreciate Mitchell’s reasoned response, I am surprised by the nonchalance of the others. I am particularly surprised by Cody‘s position, as this law appears to be anathema to a libertarian.

  12. Dave gets a high five across the interwebs. *hwpsh!*

  13. Dave,

    I know it's taken me 11 days ... and unfortunately (as usual) my response in disagreement to you won't be all that good.

    The suspicion argument falls on somewhat deaf ears to me... the vast majority of all actions taken by Law Enforcement... including nearly every time ICE raids a workplace, or DEA cracks down on a drughouse are done on reasonable suspicion type scenarios. Relying on Law Enforcements ability to identify reasonable suspicion and then punishing those Law Enforcement officers who abuse it is how the system works today and it works better than any other system in the world.

    It doesn't say "Arrest them if you have reasonable suspicion" it says The cops should investigate if they have reasonable suspicion. That is what Law Enforcement officers do all day long. Do some of them corrupt it and do evil things with the power that gives them... yes and they should be crushed and thrown in prison.

    Because of the fact we have a system that allows so many freedoms but still chooses to do it's best to protect it citizens... we are going to always have situations where criminals get away with things and situations were innocent people are at a minimum inconvenienced or worse convicted and sentenced. I am not saying we just have to accept the status quo... as much as I hate specific instances of Lawyers abusing the system for profit, or people wrongly claiming "Racial Profiling" (etc.) for their selfish benefit, I also hate the specific instances of abuse that Good Lawyers (Yes Dave, I admit there are some) help to get people compensation for. My point in this long drawn out ridiculous paragraph is this: Yes... Racial Profiling occurs, it sucks and we have to continue to grow as a country and punish those doing it to lessen the effects, but... it occurring is not a reason to not enforce the legitimate laws that protect this country. People are wrongly accused every day of numerous crimes for many reasons... some are sentenced to life in prison, some have probably even been executed (I only say probably cause I didn't do any research) but that doesn't mean we quit enforcing the laws that protect our citizens. It means we have to continually grow as country, it means we need to keep getting smarter and more educated. Our system will never be perfect (meaning zero mistakes) because we rely on so many human freedoms to make the system what it is and human freedoms undoubtedly lead to human mistakes at times.

    I will finish by saying this: I don't think this Arizona law is the perfect situation. I think the people of Arizona got to the point of being scared and after multiple attempts to ask the Federal Government for help, decide they were going to help themselves. If so many people in AZ support this bill I think it is our responsibility to accept that they feel they have a legitimate concern with illegal immigration... if you won't accept this bill will you offer an alternative for what they should do to fix the issue they are feeling so threatened by? Or will we just complain from afar cause we don't like their method of trying to help themselves??

  14. Cody, I appreciate your response, although because of the delay, I assumed I had “won” this one. LOL. I guess the gist of your response is this: Police use reasonable suspicion all the time to investigate crimes, and although it sucks that racial profiling will occur when enforcing this law, that is the way it is. Besides, a majority support this bill, so therefore it is legitimate. Again, I couldn’t disagree more

    First, I think that you have mistaken “reasonable suspicion” with “probable cause.” Contrary to your example, the DEA have no right to search your house (without permission) for drugs if they have “reasonable suspicion”, but only if they have “probable cause”. This protection is enshrined in the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution. “Reasonable suspicion” is a much less exacting legal standard than “probable cause”, and can only be used by police to stop people if there is at threat to safety (like reasonable suspicion that someone has a firearm, they can be stopped and frisked, but not fully searched or arrested without probable cause).

    In Arizona, local police are REQUIRED to stop people and ask for proof of citizenship/residency if they have “reasonable suspicion” that the person is here illegally. If the person can not produce this proof on the spot, the officer then has “probable cause” to arrest this person. A huge problem with this is it presupposes guilt and makes the individual affirmatively disprove “probable cause”. I can prove I don’t have a gun if frisked by simply NOT having a gun. Here, how does one provide proof of citizenship if they are walking down the street without a passport or something? If you can’t, you can be arrested, put in jail and detained until the proper proof is found.

    The notion that because a majority supports this bill makes this law OK is frightening. Majority’s have supported all kinds of activities that go against everything sacred in our Constitution and shared history, from Jim Crow to the internment of US citizens of Japanese descent during WWII. Popular support does not make a law right.

    I am not an immigration expert, and I do not have an alternative plan to offer as you request. I don’t think an alternative is necessary at this moment to address this bill, other than to repeal it—and I bet this law doesn’t reduce the number of undocumented immigrants in this country one bit. I do think comprehensive immigration reform makes the most sense, that: (1) adds reasonable security to our borders, (2) punishes employers who exploit immigrant labor; (3) makes the legal immigration process more efficient and (4) creates a pathway for those undocumented to earn citizenship and become legal citizens.

    Cody, although I am troubled by your nonchalance regarding racial profiling, I guess my biggest problem with your response is that you didn’t answer the one question I asked, which is the crux of this issue: Please describe what constitutes “reasonable suspicion” of being in this country illegally. Is it possible to do this without racial/ethnic profiling?

  15. Dave...

    I have no Non-chalance regarding racial profiling.

    i hate that it happens.

    I also Hate car wrecks, but don't think we should ban all driving right now.

    I hate that any innocent person if ever accused, prosecuted or convicted of a crime... but I don't believe we should stop all Law Enforcment efforts either.

    I hate oil spills as much as anyone in the world... but if we just completely stopped all oil drilling period right now this second... we would have a much worse situation than we currently do.

    Bullshit statements claiming that I have a non-chalance about Racial Profiling just because I support Arizona's right to investigate criminals are what creates the divide we have in this country and prohibits progress.

    I completely agree with you on the points you made concerning immigration reform.

  16. You STILL didn’t answer the one question I asked: what constitutes “reasonable suspicion” of being in this country illegally. I think your silence on this question speaks volumes, and proves that on the merits, this law is indefensible.

  17. I don't know that I have an answer for it. I don't know that this law is perfect or right. I have admitted that all along. I do know that the people of Arizona have a right to protect their state... and I have yet to see a reasonable alternative to the option they have in this law.

  18. I appreciate that Cody. Although that question is the crux of the bill, I don't think anyone can answer that question without including some sort of racial/ethnic profiling. That is why the bill must go, even if the state of Arizona think there is a good reason for the bill. It is wrong, and simply the antithesis of the ideals of liberty and justice that our nation was founded on.

    I would like to add that I never meant to imply you were pro-profiling. I just don't think a casual approach to this bill can be tolerated. I do appreciate you addressing this issue on your blog.


I love the discussion in the comments.. so... GO FOR IT!

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