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Arizona Immigration Law For Dummies

David Neiwert has an excellent piece over at Crooks and Liars covering some of the issues with the new Arizona immigration law. Go read it now! I’m going to paste the ending which is great, but you have to go read the whole thing if you want to understand why the Arizona law will not be around very long. From Crooks and Liars…(emphasis mine)

It’s important to remember that unless people are caught in the actual act of crossing the border, and not merely found on a freeway crammed into a minivan, there is no criminal violation that any officer could suspect them of. The only violation likely to arouse suspicion would be a civil one.

Thus, as you can see, Kobach’s and Van Susteren’s analogy comparing someone suspected of being in the country illegally to someone pulled over with a bag of pot on the seat, or some other criminal violation, is all wrong.

A more apt analogy would be a situation in which a police officer approached a suspect for a drinking-and-driving violation and began to suspect that the same person was a tax cheat because he was a wealthy white Republican. Certainly, there are no shortage of those in Arizona.

If the Arizona law were applied similarly regarding all federal civil violations, well, the officer would be required to call the IRS and have that person audited.

Anyone wanna bet the Arizona Legislature won’t be demanding that of their police officers anytime soon?

The reason why it won’t be around any longer is in David Neiwert’s piece, here is another link to it. :)

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May 19, 2010 - Posted by | Immigration, Politics

30 Comments »

  1. Thanks for pointing to this – gives me some ammo in the countless arguments I am getting into these days.

    My favorite irony these days? The far right loves to call Obama a Nazi and a socialist/commie (ignore the basic contradiction for the moment). In Arizona the far right has enacted a law by which a person is threatened with criminal arrest if they can’t produce their papers. Historically, what type of governments have enacted similar laws?

    Keep up the good fight.

    – hippieprof

    Comment by hippieprof | May 19, 2010 | Reply

  2. You are welcome, it’s crazy how many people….polls again….are OK with the AR law. I’ve posted before how the founding fathers specifically put habeas corpus right into the main text of the constitution. And they bent over backwards to try to prevent the tyranny of the majority. I don’t know if you read a previous post about re-reading the constitution. I didn’t write about this but check this out directly from the constitution…

    “No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.”

    They obviously didn’t have a problem with immigration, they had just come themselves…..didn’t have time to hate immigrants yet. It took several generations to create that good hatred for people not like themselves. Sheesh…

    Comment by ExtremeLiberal | May 19, 2010 | Reply

  3. What is in the Arizona law that is not federal law? I do realize that the vocal left crowd has not read it but maybe you have and can explain the differences.

    Comment by atlanta ralph | May 20, 2010 | Reply

  4. Did you go look at the post, Ralph?

    Comment by ExtremeLiberal | May 20, 2010 | Reply

  5. Frak, seriously Jim…..you are reaching.
    Ralph is right. What is in the Arizona law that is not in the federal law? I have even posted it for you, and you still can only answer a question with another question.
    Every time you get pulled over you are asked for both your diver’s license and insurance. If you have those, and they are legal then you could be a green martian and you would still be in the clear. How is that wrong?

    …….man our federal government sure is racist……

    Comment by thoth | May 21, 2010 | Reply

    • If you are operating a motor vehicle and are pulled over for speeding, you are required to produce your drivers license. That is absolutely true.

      When you are walking down the street minding your own business police officers most certainly DO NOT have the right to demand to see your drivers license or produce your “papers” – until now.

      You will of course claim that the police officer needs “probable cause” of an immigration violation to ask for those papers.

      I will repeat the question raised in the article: What constitutes probably cause for an immigration violation? I suspect that the only answers will involve “looking like an illegal alien….” which is a lot like “looking Jewish” in Nazi Germany.

      – hp

      Comment by hippieprof | May 21, 2010 | Reply

      • HP, have you took the time to read the law. The police can not walk up to somebody and say “hey, show me your papers!” They have to pull somebody over for a traffic violation, and then if the officer suspects something can they ask for proof. If you have your driver’s license or your immigration documents then you are in the clear.

        Now, say the person that gets pulled over doesn’t have ANY sort of ID, speaks very broken English, and has a van packed full of illegals don’t you think it’s safe to say that they themselves shouldn’t be in our country.

        Oh yeah….California has this law on their books too. Do some research people.

        Comment by thoth | May 21, 2010 | Reply

      • Thoth said: Now, say the person that gets pulled over doesn’t have ANY sort of ID, speaks very broken English, and has a van packed full of illegals don’t you think it’s safe to say that they themselves shouldn’t be in our country.

        So – let me ask you a hypothetical. It is actually assumed in the example you give above – when you say “a van packed full of illegals” how does the officer know they are illegals?

        Lets say the person who gets pulled over has a valid drivers license and ID – in fact he/she is a legal US citizen.

        Lets say the van is indeed filled with a bunch of Hispanic-looking individuals. They are all in their seat belts and are sitting quietly and are breaking no laws. They are merely passengers in a car that was pulled over for speeding.

        Does the police officer have a right to ask them for their identification? If so, on what basis?

        – hp

        Comment by hippieprof | May 21, 2010 | Reply

    • Did you read the post? Chew on this from the Crooks and Liars piece…
      “Actually, there’s a very simple and direct answer to Van Susteren’s question: SB1070 puts local and state police officers in charge of enforcing civil violations of federal law. This is a clear usurpation of federal immigration authority, and one of the key reasons why the ACLU and other civil liberties organizations have sued to overturn the law — namely, it “violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution by interfering with the federal government’s authority to regulate and enforce immigration.””

      Comment by ExtremeLiberal | May 21, 2010 | Reply

      • They still have to report the individual to ICE because only the federal government can deport somebody. So they aren’t interfering with federal law. This law simply gives the state more strength to hold a person until an ICE official arrives.

        Comment by thoth | May 21, 2010 | Reply

  6. The one problem is the Federal government doesn’t enforce immigration. There are a number of states where local LEO have been trained in immigration and are able to enforce it. That blows your case all to pieces.

    Comment by atlanta ralph | May 21, 2010 | Reply

    • You’re right Ralph. This law gives law enforcement the right to hold an individual until an ICE official can make it to the jail/prison.
      I know that here in Colorado suspected illegals are kicked loose before and ICE official can arrive.
      I’m sure that both Jim and HP are perfectly alright with that.

      Comment by thoth | May 21, 2010 | Reply

  7. “Lets say the person who gets pulled over has a valid drivers license and ID – in fact he/she is a legal US citizen.

    Lets say the van is indeed filled with a bunch of Hispanic-looking individuals. They are all in their seat belts and are sitting quietly and are breaking no laws. They are merely passengers in a car that was pulled over for speeding.

    Does the police officer have a right to ask them for their identification? If so, on what basis?”

    – hp

    In this case everything seems to be on the level so there isn’t a need to now is there.
    And with how the law is written (I suggest that you read it, along with the federal law) the officer would either write the driver a ticket, or give the driver a warning….depending on the infraction.

    Comment by thoth | May 22, 2010 | Reply

  8. Here is the law that California has on their books;

    SECTION 834b – California Penal Code

    (a) Every law enforcement agency in California shall fully cooperate with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service regarding any person who is arrested if he or she is suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws.

    (b) With respect to any such person who is arrested, and suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws, every law enforcement agency shall do the following:

    (1) Attempt to verify the legal status of such person as a citizen of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted as a permanent resident, an alien lawfully admitted for a temporary period of time or as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of immigration laws. The verification process may include, but shall not be limited to, questioning the person regarding his or her date and place of birth, and entry into the United States, and demanding documentation to indicate his or her legal status.

    (2) Notify the person of his or her apparent status as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws and inform him or her that, apart from any criminal justice proceedings, he or she must either obtain legal status or leave the United States.

    (3) Notify the Attorney General of California and the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service of the apparent illegal status and provide any additional information that may be requested by any other public entity.

    (c) Any legislative, administrative, or other action by a city, county, or other legally authorized local governmental entity with jurisdictional boundaries, or by a law enforcement agency, to prevent or limit the cooperation required by subdivision (a) is expressly prohibited.”

    I think it’s time for Californians to boycott themselves.

    …problems anyone?

    Comment by thoth | May 22, 2010 | Reply

    • So – Thoth – did you actually read the bill yourself? All of it? Or are you just taking your talking points from Beck or Limbaugh or someone? Because, if you did actually read the bill, how can you in any way claim the Arizona law is equivalent to California law?

      I actually did skim the bill when the controversy arose – and I just looked at it in more detail.

      Take a look at section 13-2928 – it is on page 5 of the document linked below:

      http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1070s.pdf

      The section says that it is a crime for an alien to solicit employment and (quoting directly) “SOLICIT” MEANS VERBAL OR NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION BY A GESTURE OR A NOD THAT WOULD INDICATE TO A REASONABLE PERSON THAT A PERSON IS WILLING TO BE EMPLOYED.

      Think for a second what this means. Police need probable cause to request ID – some indication that a crime has probably been committed. Under the new law, simply nodding or gesturing to somebody on the street can be construed as probably cause.

      Seriously – does that not scare the hell out of you?

      – hp

      Comment by hippieprof | May 22, 2010 | Reply

      • It’s a crime for the illegal to be here in the first place. Do you not understand the meaning behind the word illegal?!
        And no, it doesn’t scare the hell out of me, because I have nothing to worry about or hide. I have a legal driver’s license, and insurance. I pay my taxes….more this year than I ever have. And if you aren’t going to follow our nation’s laws, then you have no right to be here.

        If you think I’m bad, you should hear the girl I work with who is a native Canadian. She took the time to follow immigration and nationalization laws, and she has a few choice words for those that try to cheat the system.

        Jim, from the things you have written, you seem to be extremely torn.

        Comment by thoth | May 22, 2010 | Reply

      • Thoth said…. It’s a crime for the illegal to be here in the first place. Do you not understand the meaning behind the word illegal?!

        Of course I understand the word illegal – but you really don’t seem to get it.

        I am not trying to protect illegal aliens. I am trying to protect US citizens (and legal aliens) from being subjected to unreasonable search and police harassment.

        You say you have nothing to worry about because you are a citizen? Think again. The new law gives the police the right to question anyone when they have probable cause to believe an immigration crime has occurred. Probable cause can include something as simple as making gesture on the street. It could happen to you (and indeed WILL happen to people just like you) even though you have committed no crime. You might never be charged or convicted – but you will be hassled, humiliated, and potentially injured.

        Maybe being hassled by the police when you are innocent of any crime does not bother you. Try talking to someone who has experienced that, and you might think otherwise.

        Oh – better be sure you never forget your wallet when you go out, too – you might wave or nod to someone and end up detained.

        – hp

        Comment by hippieprof | May 22, 2010 | Reply

  9. Thanks for the help, hippieprof. I’m not sure we will ever clear the fog that is covering Thoth and Ralph’s thinking. There seems to be a clear mental block in understanding that American citizens have a right to….well, here is part of the 14th amendment…

    Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Now, I’m sure Ralph and Thoth will still think that I’m talking about giving these rights to illegal immigrants, when it is the rights of legal, born in the US of A (or naturalized) citizens that will have their rights trampelled on. They don’t seem concerned about them, well, because even if they are legal citizens, they may not look like “legal citizens”. And I really believe deep down under it all, the reason it doesn’t bother them is because they are Latino. Why else would they be so willing to give up their own rights, it wouldn’t affect them anyway so who gives a shit, right. Thankfully, our founding fathers and the wise men who came after them have made it pretty clear in many ways that people like Ralph and Thoth don’t get their way. The threatened majority is not allowed so exert their power over the minority. Sorry guys, it ain’t gonna stand.

    Those idiot Arizona legislators really screwed up. If they hadn’t included all the really egregious stuff in the original bill, the stuff that has been changed with fixes after the outcry, they probably wouldn’t have received such an overwhelming response from so many communities…boycotts will hurt business in Arizona, people will lose their jobs, NICE PLAN guys. How’s that whole racial profiling thing working out for you now, assholes?

    Comment by ExtremeLiberal | May 22, 2010 | Reply

    • I have a very close friend who is Puerto Rican, and he looks very Puerto Rican, and even he, and his Puerto Rican parents are for this law.

      California boycotts against Arizona could lead to California losing about 25% of their power supply……after all that energy comes directly out of Arizona.
      How are those boycotts working out for you during your constant rolling brownouts assholes?

      Comment by thoth | May 22, 2010 | Reply

      • So I guess because you have a Puerto Rican friend who doesn’t support the principles of the constitution, that proves what?

        Comment by ExtremeLiberal | May 23, 2010 | Reply

      • Thoth – honest question here:

        This is an honest question: Why do illegal aliens bother you so much?

        I have heard various answers to this – they commit crimes, they don’t pay taxes, the steal jobs from American citizens, etc.

        Just curious if I am missing any.

        – hp

        Comment by hippieprof | May 23, 2010 | Reply

  10. FYI – I just did a full post concerning this over on my blog. I am not trying to be a blog whore – the topic is directly relevant.

    http://hippieprofessor.com/2010/05/23/did-you-hear-the-one-where-a-swede-an-italian-and-a-mexican-walk-into-a-bar/

    Comment by hippieprof | May 23, 2010 | Reply

  11. “This is an honest question: Why do illegal aliens bother you so much?

    I have heard various answers to this – they commit crimes, they don’t pay taxes, the steal jobs from American citizens, etc.

    Just curious if I am missing any.”
    You pretty much summed it up hp. You can also throw in there, the drug trade that they bring with them, human smuggling…which also brings horrible cases of rap by the traffickers. Do a search on “rap trees”. And you can add kidnapping. Phoenix is now the top kidnapping city in the US, and most of the cases involve Hispanics.

    My feelings would still be the same if the situation was reversed and we had illegal Canadians streaming across our northern border.
    Our nation has a process for people that want to become a citizen. These illegals prove time and time again, that they have no respect for our laws and our way of life.

    “So I guess because you have a Puerto Rican friend who doesn’t support the principles of the constitution, that proves what?”
    Jim, every time you get pulled over you are asked the very same question, and the same thing happens when you go to get on an airplane. You are trying to turn this into an issue when all law enforcement officials are trying to do is uphold our laws, and protect the citizens.
    From the things you have posted, you seem to be very torn on your views. You can’t have it both ways, and it seems time for you to finally decide just were you stand on the illegal immigration issue.

    Comment by thoth | May 23, 2010 | Reply

    • Well, Thoth, your statement about me being torn on my views just proves to me that you still just don’t get it. The two ideas are not mutually exclusive. I can be against abusing American citizens rights AND for securing our borders and enforcing the federal immigration laws (federal, not some state racial profiling law that the state has no jurisdiction over). But unlike many, maybe you, I don’t have a hatred for Latinos in general. Those American who may be Latino have just as many rights as us pasty white people, they don’t deserve to be hassled just because of their heritage.

      Comment by ExtremeLiberal | May 24, 2010 | Reply

    • Thoth said: Jim, every time you get pulled over you are asked the very same question, and the same thing happens when you go to get on an airplane. You are trying to turn this into an issue when all law enforcement officials are trying to do is uphold our laws, and protect the citizens.

      Hmmmm…. not sure if this was aimed at me or not. I didn’t make the comment about the Puerto Rican, but my name is indeed Jim…. anyway, in case it was aimed at me, I don’t think I am particularly torn. My views on most subjects are nuanced – I don’t have black/white opinions on much of anything – everything is a shade of grey. That is how academics tend to views most issues.

      – hp

      Comment by hippieprof | May 24, 2010 | Reply

    • Jims unite!!!! Nuance isn’t one of those things that very many people get. I too rail against making everything black and white, it is such a cop out in most cases. The refuge of a small mind.

      As far as getting pulled over, I’ve been pulled over for no reason many times, whether it was driving my car around the time that bars close…odds are pretty good they’ll get someone drunk at that time. I was pulled over once when a cop thought my car was too loud, which was completely manufactured, my car wasn’t loud AT ALL.

      If thoth and others really think that a cop in Arizona isn’t going to come up with a reason (real or not) to pull over a carload of Latinos who look like illegals (in their minds), then they are in deep, deep denial. I, as a pasty white guy, have been pulled over for no reason many times and yes, I was asked for my drivers license. According to thoth’s logic, the new Arizona law wasn’t even needed, so let’s just get rid of it.

      Comment by ExtremeLiberal | May 24, 2010 | Reply

      • As far as getting pulled over, I’ve been pulled over for no reason many times, whether it was driving my car around the time that bars close…odds are pretty good they’ll get someone drunk at that time. I was pulled over once when a cop thought my car was too loud, which was completely manufactured, my car wasn’t loud AT ALL.

        Yeah – I have been there. On several occasions I have been pulled over because my license plate light was out. That is the little light above your license plate that allows you to read it at night. Most people are unaware you even have such a light. It has always occurred when I was returning home late at night from a gig with my band. Funny that they never seem worried about such safety issues at 9:00 PM.

        I know and the cop knows that they are just trolling for DUI. It probably doesn’t help that I look like a scruffy hippie either….

        – hp

        Comment by hippieprof | May 24, 2010 | Reply

      • I’ve been pulled over for that one too, the light on your license plate. Also after leaving a gig, I too used to play bass in some bands….not so much anymore. Luckily I wasn’t a big drinker and never got caught for DUI.

        So these folks who act like the police only pull over people for legitimate reasons are in deep denial. Since police already do what they will as far as stopping someone, the law was really meant as a political ploy, rile up the base, divide and conquer.

        Comment by ExtremeLiberal | May 24, 2010 | Reply

  12. That is a legitimate reason to be pulled over, and it has happened to me as well.
    I was pulled over late at night once because one of my taillights was out. How was I to know? It’s not like there is a light on your dash that lets you know. He informed me why he pulled me over, and I thanked him and went on my way. No harm done.

    As for my post that both of you are complaining about. If you were paying attention I copied each of your responses and replied to them accordingly. I even spaced them out for you.
    And there is no need for trying to make personal jabs….even though it is a favorite tactic for Progressives.

    Comment by thoth | May 24, 2010 | Reply

    • That is a legitimate reason to be pulled over, and it has happened to me as well. I was pulled over late at night once because one of my taillights was out.

      We are not talking about headlights and taillights. Those have a legitimate safety function. I have been pulled over because of those too, and I don’t begrudge to cop doing so.

      The license-plate light, though – it really has no legitimate safety function. Pulling someone over for that is a DUI troll, and nothing else. That DOES annoy me.

      – hp

      Comment by hippieprof | May 26, 2010 | Reply


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